There are many definitions of what leadership is however
the bottom line is that leadership involves inspiring others, hence influencing them to be motivated to bring about positive
changes and therefore make a difference (Durbin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006, pp. 3-4). However one important thing to keep
in mind is the context or the situation to which such applies. Below are many definitions and quotes of what is leadership
taken in different context.
Leadership "is about coping with change. Leaders establish
direction by developing a vision of the future; then they align people by communicating this vision and inspiring them to
overcome hurdles" (Robbins, Millett & Waters-Marsh, 2004).
"The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatizes,
and inspires his listener with the wish to teach himself" (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton).
"The best vision is insight" (Malcolm S. Forbes).
"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision
of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out and meet it" (Thucydides).
"The country is full of good coaches. What it takes to win
is a bunch of interested players" (Don Coryell, ex-San Diego Chargers Coach).
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn" (Ralph
The cynic says, "One man can't do anything" (John W. Gardner).
"Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision
that is well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action to realize your own leadership potential"
"The process of influencing the behavior of other people toward
group goals in a way that fully respects their freedom. The emphasis on respecting their freedom is an important one, and
one which must be the hallmark of Christian leadership. Jesus influenced many diverse people during his ministry but compelled
no-one to follow Him" (Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester).
My definition of a leader . . ."is a man who
can persuade people to do what they don't want to do, or do what they're too lazy to do, and like it" (Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972,
Thirty-third President of the United States, Miller, More Plan Speaking).
"You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things;
you lead people" (Grace Hopper, Admiral, U. S. Navy (retired), Nova ( PBS TV), 1986).
"The superior leader gets things done with very
little motion. He imparts instruction not through many words but through a few deeds. He keeps informed about everything but
interferes hardly at all. He is a catalyst, and though things would not get done well if he weren't’t there, when they
succeed he takes no credit. And because he takes no credit, credit never leaves him" (Lao Tse, Tao Te Ching).
"Leadership occurs when one person induces others
to work toward some predetermined objectives" (Massie).
"Leadership is the art to of influencing and directing people
in such a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in achieving common objectives" (U.
S. Air Force).
"Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal;
avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men" (Lao Tze).
"Managers have subordinates—leaders have followers" (Murray
"The ultimate test of practical leadership is the realization
of intended, real change that meets people’s enduring needs" (James MacGregor Burns).