Defining Leadership

Mike Myatt is a managing director at N2growth and the author of Leadership Matters – The CEO Survival Manual.  He complains about lack of a clear and commonly agreed upon definition for leadership and attempts to come up with the description of a “perfect leader” in A Leadership Job Description.  He draws the following conclusion, which I think is something that most people miss:

There is no perfect leader; only the right leader for a given situation. Great leaders have the innate ability to call on the right skills in a contextually and environmentally appropriate fashion. No single leader can possess every needed attribute. It’s not the traits you possess as a leader, but what you do with them that matters.”

Myatt then comes up with his own definition of leadership:

“Leadership is the professed desire and commitment to serve others by subordinating personal interests to the needs of those being led through effectively demonstrating the character, experience, humility, wisdom and discernment necessary to create the trust & influence to cause the right things, to happen for the right reasons, at the right times.”

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