What is leadership?

By Debby Winters

If you follow me on Twitter (@dwinters711), you may have noticed a weekly conversation that I tweet about called #bowtieconvo. @BowtieTodd has a deep interest in starting conversations to get people to think and engage. These conversations are centered on #leadership. This got me thinking about the question: What is leadership? And What do other people think about leadership?

Of course we all have our own spin on the concept, as well as our own definition. What I think is universally true however,  is that leadership one of those things, like pornography, that we know when we see.  In my participation in the #bowtieconvo, I’ve realized that as well as “knowing it when we see it” there are some keys to what everyone “sees” as leadership.
Here are the keys to leadership, as I have gleaned them from these #bowtieconvo chats.

  1. Have a vision:To establish that vision one must know one’s own talents.
  2. Cherish people:Find their talents and keep the passion for their work alive.
  3. Communicate:Foster listening as well as talking.
  4. Make decisions:To be consistent well over time, you’ve got to have a system.
  5. Nurture a healthy culture: Leaders create cultures. Cultures multiply results.

As well as knowing leadership when we see it, I’ve gleaned that most people think that leaders ask the right questions of the right people.

Here are the questions leaders ask.

  1. What is your dream?Ignite your passion and align your efforts.
  2. Do you deeply care for your people?Deeply and genuinely care for others.
  3. Are you connected with your people?Lead with your heart.
  4. Are you empowering your team? Provide clear goals, needed resources, and back-up.
  5. Are you proud, engaged, and happy?Most important of all because a team is a state of mind.

Do you want to become a leader? These lists didn’t come from research, but from listening to others, from listening to #leaders.

Join the #bowtieconvo every Tuesday at 7 pm CT on Twitter and tell us what you think of #leadership.

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