What is leadership?

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

– Albert Einstein


I’ve read somewhere that leadership is not the same as management or just directing others to achieve certain tasks. Leadership involves inspiration: inspiring the managers, and influencing them towards accomplishing its goals, motivating employees by different means to work harder or smarter, and more efficiently.

A great leader, in my opinion, learns to use the leadership skills and styles to motivate people and teams to enjoy their jobs and perform well at them. In other words, leadership in the workplace applies to inspiring employees, challenging them, and to motivating them to reach a goal. Two questions now arise. Apart from money, what ultimately motivates employees to successfully accomplish the assigned mission? And another question, how to motivate employees to reach those goals?

First, a happy workforce has a remarkable effect on the overall productivity of a company or organization. Secondly, leaders must have a solid culture of motivation and work towards the achievement of the vision of the company’s objectives / goals.

My formula for leadership success is simple. I recommend Motivation + Vision + Influence = Leadership. And what is your effective formula for leadership success?

Additional Resources

Rose Johnson. Demand Media. 5 Different Types of Leadership Styles. http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-different-types-leadership-styles-17584.html

Tony Lynch. How do you learn as a leader? http://keepthinkingbig.com/how-do-you-learn-as-a-leader/

Kims Robot. Administrator. 10 Qualities of a Good Leader. http://penfieldrobotics.com/forum/index.php?topic=1750.0

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). January 13, 2015. 15 Traits of a Terrible Leader. http://www.success.com/article/15-traits-of-a-terrible-leader

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19 Responses to What is leadership?

  1. Bela says:

    “Solid culture of motivation”. Yes, I think this should be the key element of any models. I think, this topic is complex enough to write a whole book about it, and the future leaders should be trained at any companies, since the success of any buisness is depending on them in the first line. As how adequate they treat their colleagues as more succesful is the buisness. Therefore the culture of motivation is the most important. Will your people make a good job, if you treat them like animals? No respect, no understanding, no kindness, just pushing and forcing? Will they respect you if you don’t? Will they love their job, if you always complaining and don’t appritiate anything they achive? Defenetly not. They will leave as soon as they find a better Company.


  2. Leadership models ? Your leadership is depending of the personal what you have to lead,. When they are capabel, let them do their things, are they not capabel than it is your fault, employed probably an inadequate staff !! Than you’ve to be the leader and have to change the situation to your own needs !


    • Kurt Jensen says:

      I ´m totally agree with you @RvRavenstijn. There are employed who are not able to do their work and then put the blame on bosses. Sure there are also bad leader , but if you don´t like , if you are a a good and responsible worker with good references, you can easy find another job. Unfortunately there are many employees who do not really like to work and only put the blame on others and the leader must dismiss them.


  3. Kurt Jensen says:

    hej, where is my comment ?


  4. gil says:

    Yeah, Kurt and RvRavenstijn, both of you are right.


  5. Steven Donea says:

    “Birth is a natural process and the notion to associate leadership with it is arguable” (Hyacinth 2014). A good, hard-working employee will always find like-minded professionals, but “what one person thinks of as a bad boss may not resonate with a coworker who has different needs” (Heathfield 2018), and a bad manager will always be “counting worms” and worrying about their next application for employment.


    • gil says:

      @ Steven Donea —– After your English is easy to see that you are an immigrant. And after your comment you are one frustrated and not adapted. There are not “bad boss” , just bad worker. If your boss is bad and you are a good worker, you can easily find a job and you will not be worrying about idea with a “bad boss”. That only concerns losers people.


      • Bela says:

        I can’t agree with you.. There are just as many “bad bosses” as bad workers… But the responsibility to work with the right person is on the manager. If you are the one in charge you have to keep the right person for the job, and separate the inadequate one. So if your workers are not able to carry out the task you gave them, you should check first the task itself, than your people and do the right move either change the task or the workers. One way or an other, at the end it is on you, so it’s your fault if you made the wrong decision. And yes, I am an immigrant too, but does I really matter when we speak in general? Because the situation is the same everywhere..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. gil says:

    @Steven Donea
    I´m not a manager. just a simple engineer working hard for more than 30 years. In all these years, I had just two “bed managers”, but as I said above, if you are good at what you do,you have support and appreciation of colleagues and also good references from good managers you’ve worked with before. So it´s easy to find another job and start working, you have not time to write about “bed boss”.
    @Bela– I´m agree with you: when we speak in general, it doesn´t matter if you are or not an immigrant, but you have “to feel ” it the one who complains.I was myself as immigrant in Germany and I could see some immigrant complains all the time. Who has time to write articles, if he has problem just with one bad boss? I’m curious: in how many places worked before Steven and of how many jobs he was fired ? How many years is an immigrant and how long he worked in these years? How many good references weapons from the places where he worked ? Apart from the Polish head what tell colleagues about his work ? He can ask his ex-colleagues to give us an opinion here about it.


  7. Steven Donea says:

    I personally believe that complaining to a business, when it’s justified, is doing that business a favor. And someone who complains about the “adverse” weather conditions, very different from those who honestly raise concerns about wrongdoing.


  8. newman says:

    I also had a bad boss , so I decided to become a boss. Now get ready to become leader. My answer for the question :” what is your effective formula for leadership success?” is also simple. My formula for leadership success is: become a leader and demonstrate yourself how to be a good boss. Change the world around you being a model for others!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bruce W Gourlay says:

    This is an interesting topic and I have enjoyed reading the various contributions. I would like to add an additional thought. A company’s owner, CEO, boss, or manager is not necessarily a leader. He or she may simply be a task master, unable to inspire and unable to motivate the employee other than using the threat ‘do it my way or you’re fired’. These would be, I think, what Steven referred to as the ‘bad bosses’. I suspect you would all agree with that.

    However, my second point, is that a genuine leader is not one who just inspires the managers who, in turn, are suppose to inspire the workers. A leader does not limit himself/herself to inspiring the Board of Directors. Leaders inspire the workers themselves. A military general often addresses the troupes themselves, not just the officers. A nation’s president or prime minister speaks to the nation, not just to his/her cabinet. No, the worker is not likely to see the main leader on a daily basis, but a leader is not entirely separated, walled off and insulated from the sight and site or the worker.

    My last point for your discussion is that leaders are not just found at the top. Unrecognized leadership is often found among the menial workers themselves. They are the ones who help make the work place a happier and friendlier space. They are the ones who offer encouragement to carry on despite the ‘unfairness’ from the bosses. They are the ones you look forward to seeing when you go back to work.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Deana Vermeer says:

    Congratulation Newman, you are a model!!! The people like you really change the world,not those who complain. Yeah, sometimes happens that a simple worker to be better than leader. In this case he/she makes like you, he/she gets himself a leader and become a model for other or if they are very good workers and don´t want become a leader, find another job where it is appreciated, like gil.


  11. Deana Vermeer says:

    Ups !!! What kind of blog is that where you can not put free comments. This is not a trust blog !!
    Usually if I like a blog I recommend to may friends, but this time I will not do. A trust blog all the time it is a blog where you can put a comment without being approved. If the admin must approve it by his email, it is a suspect blog, where the admin wants to hide something. He can change the comment how he want, or may not display if it does not like.


  12. Håkan Bergström says:

    gil has right and you did not answer his questions.What are your answers about what he asked you?


  13. Amos says:

    Steven, If you really want to know about leadership, like you say, just make a search and you will find a lot of material written by professionals. You will find tested things for both : employer and employee. Both leaders and employees to successfully draw on them, because these books written by successful people from both sides are tested by people around the world who can testify, how much it helped in their career. There are hundreds of excellent materials on the subject.


  14. Steven says:

    Amos, how many of these books have you read? Can you recommend just one book? and since you have years of combined experience in the field, how much can YOU say about leaders and your leadership style, and whether you know or not, what principles can help make the most of your influence?


  15. Tony Lemuel says:

    Steven, I can answer you in Amos place.
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R. Covey- one of the best book. I can reccomend you. But as Amos said, are dozens of good books on the subject.
    I have carefully read your answers to people’s comments and it’s easy to see that you are a very arrogant person. You could even search only one of dozens of books about Leadership, but instead you asked how many books read Amos and if he can recommend one. Now , I recommend you one book. Will you read? I also saw that you avoided answering questions which can reveal your character and way of being. This is specifically irresponsible people. I could easily see that Bela and Bruce W Gourlay are knowledgeable of yours that you’ve asked them to write comments. People like you are only busy with total senseless things and get to middle age without realizing anything in life, neither professionally nor social nor family. Would be likely if you see this, but people like you realize that, just at sunset on life. Amos wanted to tell you that you’re wasting your time writing articles about a topic, which others have written successful books.
    But in your ignorance and your arrogance, you couldn`t understand his message.


  16. jianyang dong says:

    I’ve never been a boss myself, let alone leading others, so what I said may or may not make sense.
    I agree with the article, for I think perhaps its very important for someone to be motivated, if I’m happy I’ll probably work harder, vision is important too for it help people to focus on their goals, and I heard it’s also good for the company, if a boss could earn real respect from his/her employees.


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