What is leadership?

Published on September 29, 2021   10 min

A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation

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Hello everybody, this is Gordy Curphy from Curphy Leadership Solutions, and this talk is, 'What is Leadership?'
Bob Hogan, a famous organizational psychologist, maintains that leadership is probably the most important concept in human affairs. Leadership is going to determine whether or not countries go to war. It will determine how countries or cities cope with crises. Leadership's going to determine who gets elected or promoted, what rules or laws govern our behavior. Leadership's also going to determine how resources get allocated to different groups, what gets taught in schools, whether businesses succeed or fail, or whether projects get completed on time or on budget.
Leaders are everywhere, but are they all effective? Anybody who is in a position of authority is a leader, anybody who is in charge of other people is a leader, the big question is whether or not they are effective. One of the ways we can determine whether or not they're effective is by defining what leadership actually is.
One of the funny things about leadership is people seem to recognize it when they see it. They say, "This person's a great leader", or "This person is not a very good leader", but many times they do not define what they mean by leadership. This causes some real problems, because what's seen as leadership by some, can be seen as ineffective or destructive by others. United States President Donald Trump is going to be a great example of this. There are some people who think he is a phenomenal leader, and there are other folks in the United States and across the rest of the world who think he's not a very good leader at all. In some sense, leadership seems to be in the eye of the beholder. But one of the problems that's causing some of this disagreement has to do with the fact that there are no common definitions of leadership. Everybody has a different opinion about what is, and what is not, leadership. One of the ways we can resolve this issue is to settle in on what leadership actually is, and come up with a common definition of what constitutes leadership. There are many different ways to define leadership,