This was a great question posed on LeadersIn recently. There’s at least a PhD thesis or two in there, and there’ll be as many answers as there are leaders… here’s my own personal take…
The essence of my answer to this question is two-fold:
- there is no such thing as a leader in isolation – for leadership to exist there must be 3 key things – someone who takes on some form of leader role, one or more people prepared to follow, and of course some sort of shared endeavour or cause. The first two without the third is a personality cult, and the first and third without the second is a lone nut!
- my only caveat to this is that I believe to really lead others effectively you have to also be a leader of yourself, with all the journey of awareness building and EQ developing this involves… those metaphorical long, hard looks in the mirror
The essence is of course our own self