Answering the Hard Questions about Leadership
In my post last week titled Why Leadership is Critical to Business Growth I mentioned my recent reading of James Hunter’s book The Servant. He makes some interesting statements in the book as he leads you toward what he believes is leadership.
I am interested to hear how you feel about some of these positions. So, this week is all about YOU the reader. To start, Hunter gives the definition of leadership as:
The skill of influencing people to work enthusiastically toward a goal identified as being for the common good.
Would you agree with this definition? Why or why not?
Also, his point that leadership is a skill is a critical part of his definition. A skill is something that can be learned. If that is in fact the case, then would you agree that leadership can be learned? Again, why or why not?
I don’t want to influence your thoughts here. So, I will reserve my perspective for next week’s post. However, I am very interested to see what kind of dialog these questions will begin, so please share and let’s get the conversation flowing.
Another point Hunter make in the book is the distinction between power and authority.
Power is defined as the ability to force or coerce someone to do your will.
Authority is the skill of getting people to willingly do your will because of your personal influence.
While you can use both power and authority to lead people, which one do you use most effectively in your role as a leadership? Once again, why?
The questions I’ve posed here are not easy. But, the answers are critical to truly understanding leadership. I believe this is one of the reasons so many small business owners struggle with leadership. They don’t understand what leadership really is well enough.
Good leadership doesn’t come from just reading a book or answering some questions. You’ve got to get out there and practice it! If you’re afraid to practice it on your business, then get out and volunteer. There are plenty of organizations out there that are looking for people to help!