What is leadership?
To help you become a better leader in the workplace, we asked entrepreneurs and business professionals this question for their best leadership definitions and how it has shaped their leadership style. From constantly challenging yourself to gaining respect through kindness, there are several ways you can improve your leadership skills.
Here are ten definitions of leadership:
- Grab Life By The Horns
- Challenge Yourself Constantly
- Be A Visionary And An Integrator
- Create Culture Rooted In Development
- Help Others Fulfill Their Destiny
- Be Prepared & Flexible To Change
- Gain Respect Through Kindness
- Lead With Empathy
- Take Initiative
- Align Personal Goals With Company Goals
Grab Life By The Horns
Ultimately, I think leadership starts with self-motivation. It rests upon your personal belief and commitment to give each day your best. You should grab life by the horns and always be on the lookout for opportunities to bring out your full potential. And once you’ve mastered self-motivation, motivating others to do the same comes as the natural progression of things. And it will be easier because the people you’re trying to motivate will see that you’re walking your talk.
Phillip A. Lew, C9 Staff
Challenge Yourself Constantly
Leadership is about being aggressively proactive. Great leaders anticipate the market and look to address the small things before they become larger problems. With Cruise America being an employee-owned, fourth-generation family business, the objective since 1972 has always been to keep raising the bar and getting better. With 4,500 vehicles in operation, this leadership philosophy has consistently challenged our company to keep getting better.
Randall Smalley, Cruise America
Be A Visionary And An Integrator
There are two different types of leaders in organizations: the visionary and the integrator. The visionary’s role is to develop new ideas, innovate with R&D, and push the organization forward by managing the big external relationships while securing big deals with customers. The integrator’s role is to lead, manage, and hold a team accountable. Both types of leaders are critical to an organization’s success to ensure that a business has a vision and moves in the right direction.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Create Culture Rooted in Development
Leadership is being the optimal blend of teacher and student so that both you and your employees become more valuable in December than you were in January. This focus demands an open coaching and feedback culture rooted in development. It also reminds you to stay humble, for when it comes to professional growth, there is no finish line.
Tim Toterhi, Plotline Leadership
Help Others Fulfill Their Destiny
Leadership is about influence, and it is an art and a science. The greatest leaders are about helping others fulfill their destiny, and they understand that everyone is wired uniquely. By taking the time to communicate, motivate, guide, and lead in a manner that works for individuals, they accelerate success for their teams and business.
Lorraine Bossé-Smith, Concept One LLC
Be Prepared & Flexible to Change
Now that we are aware that a situation can change in an instant, the leaders of today (and beyond) will need to be ready to make targeted pivots without a lot of time for research. In other words, leaders should have plan B, C, D, and even further down the alphabet. Few things can beat the trait of always being prepared for any outcome, and businesses would be wise to instill this idea in their leaders or to look for this type of ideology when looking for new management. Unforeseen circumstances will almost always arise, but it’s the way they are handled and the ease encountered when a pivot is necessary that will result in the most positive outcomes.
Greg Gillman, MuteSix
Gain Respect through Kindness
Great leaders can live in the present while remaining focused on the future. As an inspiring force, leaders should be outgoing, attentive to detail, and establish a clear vision. The power of positivity is transcendent. Leadership today is about exhibiting high emotional intelligence in an age where employee wellness is held in such high regard. My approach to gaining respect is always through kindness. It’s an invaluable source that can encourage and motivate others to contribute, creating a foundation for success.
Katie Lyon, Allegiance Flag Supply
Lead with Empathy
For my business, we believe in leading from the bottom up and leading with empathy. I find that the best way to motivate your employees is to empower them to find the answers themselves and make mistakes. You should take the time to teach your employees how to lead and be empathic with the struggles they face. This makes you a more caring leader, who can connect more with your team.
Loren Howard, Prime Plus Mortgages
As a global leader in pipe rehabilitation, leadership means taking the initiative and making an impact. We thrive on innovation and facing challenges head-on with a clear vision. As a leader, it is my responsibility to lead the way in the continued growth and success of SEKISUI and the team as they bring our mission to light every day.
Ryan Shallenberger, SEKISUI
Align Personal Goals With Company Goals
Leaders have the ability to motivate and inspire others to do meaningful work. In order to be a great leader you can’t be afraid to connect and relate to others. This way you can develop trusting relationships with your teams. People often like to know that you actually care about their success and not just the success of the company. The best way to show this is by aligning their personal goals with the company’s goals to create a win-win scenario.
Brianna Vaughan, LendThrive