Extract from our Leadership book scheduled for publishing in February 2013
Any book about leadership should commence with a description of what we mean by leaders and leadership. Whilst we know that leaders are individuals who influence the members of groups and represent their views, leadership itself is not so easy to explain. Some would argue that it is situations which create leaders and others would argue that it is the characteristics of the individual themselves which determines whether they go on to become leaders.
What is Leadership?
Before we go further, we should define what leadership is. Generally speaking, leadership is the movement of others towards a clear goal or direction of the leader. The leader will guide or direct others to achieve the leader’s vision for the group. One of the difficulties in defining leadership is that it is that it is hard to elucidate exactly what makes certain people leaders. Leadership can be considered to involve personal qualities and behaviours demonstrated by a person’s accomplishment in a particular field. For example, a person may be a leader in business, information technology, sport, education, voluntary work, and so on. They might also be a leader during a particular time. For instance during wartime, a crisis, an election, or a strike. Leadership is also often considered to be part of organisational behaviour, which in some ways is similar to management. However, being in charge of a business or organisation does not necessarily make a good leader. Leadership, therefore, is not a simple concept and it is little wonder that many researchers have spent many years examining the nature and scope of this intriguing behaviour.