Really…. what is leadership?

Well, I am writing things now outside the theme of this blog again…..  Perhaps I should change the scope.

I have been doing leadership development in the last 2 years.    At an evening drink with my uni friends, I was asked what my job really is.   There was a lot of ‘friendly suspicion’ given how the word ‘leadership’ is being widely and diversely used.   I said to myself I should come up an elevator pitch of what leadership is….  at least to me.

In exchanging emails with another practitioner, I think I am getting closer to the pitch.   Here is an excerpt of my email:

….If I use 1 word to describe (or replace) leadership, it would be ‘consciousness’.

A good leader first needs to be conscious about self – strength, weakness, emotion, motivation, etc. It is about mobilizing self as a tool e.g. role model, vulnerability stuff. Consciousness also in the sense that a good leader helps others to be more conscious e.g. arouses what they really need but not want, do the things which they limit themselves from doing….

I am pretty happy about the pitch, and also happy to further modify it.   Perhaps I need a simple example.

What do you think?


Why Leadership Development Programs Fail

This McKinsey article is rather comprehensive. I particularly like the part ‘…….companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well, and to integrate leadership-development components into the projects themselves…..’

Learning while you are earning!