Coaching Leadership Coaching Leadership Development

New definitions of leaders and leadership are continuing to emerge globally

In advance of my live Q&A session on Twitter taking place at 12h00 today, here are some definitions of #leaders and #leadership by international subject matter experts in this field, and professionals who work in the field of leadership.

I refer to them extensively in my latest book: Leadership Coaching for Results.  I hope you’ve had time to listen to the audio file of my presentation on Coaching for New Leadership – on which the Q&A session is based.

  • Human-Based Leaders ™ embrace people, recognise their talents, fundamentally desire to see others succeed in their own right, and earn the loyalty and respect of those working with them. People pay attention to what they say, trust in the safe environment they create to share their thoughts and critiques, and choose to engage more fully. They know these leaders have their backs (Karlin, 2011:x).
  • Visionary leaders articulate a purpose that rings true for themselves and attune it to values shared by the people they lead. And because they genuinely believe in that vision, they can guide people toward it with a firm hand. When it comes time to change direction, self-confidence and being a change catalyst smooth the transition (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2002:54–59).
  • Effective leadership involves simple governing principles such as guiding visions, sincere values, and organisational beliefs – the few self-referential ideas individuals can use to shape their own behaviour. The leader’s task is first to embody these principles, and then to help the organisation attain the standard it has declared for itself (Wheatley, 2006:130).
  • True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. (Buckingham, 2012).
  • Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection (George, Sims and McLean, 2007).
  • Leaders who work with a panoramic view of success do not operate with total selflessness, but they do define their own success within the context of the bigger picture. If “we” don’t succeed, “I” won’t succeed (Lipkin, 2013:135).
  • Successful leadership is a lifelong task of constant self-examination. When you are in touch with your own vision, values, perspectives, and roles, you will find a rewarding leadership path (King, Altman and Lee, 2011).
  • Resonant leaders help blend financial, human, intellectual, environmental, and social capital into a potent recipe for effective performance in organisations. In addition to being great to work with, they get results. To be great, a leader needs to understand the market, the technology, the people, and a multitude of other factors affecting the organisation (Boyatzis and McKee, 2005:4–5).
  • Great leadership works through the emotions, whether it’s creating strategy or mobilising teams to action, and the success of leaders depends on how they do this. If leaders fail in this primary task of driving emotions in the right direction, nothing they do will work as well as it should. The leader acts as the group’s emotional guide (Goleman, 1998:3–5).
  • Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common goal (Chemers, 2001).

By Sunny Stout-Rostron Associates

Sunny coaches at senior executive and board level in corporate organizations and educational institutions. She has a wide range of experience in leadership and management development,  business strategy and executive coaching. With over 20 years’ international  experience as an executive coach, Sunny believes that there is a strong link between emotional intelligence and business results – she works with leaders and their  teams to help them achieve individual, team and organizational goals, gaining  wisdom and knowledge through their own experience.

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