Effective and defining leadership can come in all forms, shapes and sizes from business, politics and media to sport, education and family life and there is little doubt that the consequences of effective leadership can be good and bad but how would you define leadership?
As a passionate and extremely active student of leadership I am always fascinated by all the different theories, approaches and ideas on the topic and the varied styles of great leaders. From a very young age I have always felt an obligation, where possible, to embrace the leading role regardless of ability, complexity or risk. This is because I always genuinely believe that I can do it, and besides, even if I can’t, I will find a way. But more importantly, it’s because the only way to really learn how to be a better leader is to live, breath and dream leadership every chance you get, regardless of how impossible or challenging it may be.
I am fortunate enough to realise that I am learning every day and my leadership journey will never end. This simple growth mindset and constant search for self is what keeps me focused, motivated, driven and excited about the future and all the wonderful adventures that lie ahead.
As I sit here researching for my MA in Leadership and Strategy I am amazed at the amount definitions, views and opinions there are on the topic. Books, articles and journals effective and defining leadership have been written and re-written thousands of times over yet it’s still difficult to find a specific definition that I can really relate to based on my own personal knowledge and experience along with my insights into the leadership qualities of the many amazing people I have had the pleasure of working with over the 25-30 years.
So for what its worth, here is my attempt at defining leadership;
I would suggest that at a very basic level leadership is a realisation, cultivation and application of inner belief, self-confidence and an innate sense of purpose, a very clear vision fostered by insatiable passion, integrity, empathy, courage and commitment, that motivates and drives a person into focused, determined and strategic action and in turn inspires others of similar mindset, beliefs and values to follow or align with them and support their efforts with conviction.Gary O’Meara, CEO Meath Enterprise