What is Leadership? Essay

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Leadership is a difficult word to define and according to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary leadership is the “office or position of a leader” (Miriam-Webster, 2010). This definition is definitely not one that I would ascribe to when discussing leadership. My definition of leadership is “the ability someone has to motivate and empower others to achieve a goal.” Some may add to this definition, others may discard it altogether and have a completely different definition. In the end, leadership takes on many different forms depending on who is doing the defining and we end up asking ourselves, what is leadership and why do we care? J. Thomas Wren (1995) put together a book to help leaders define leadership for themselves. The Leader’s…show more content…
As Gardner (1990) points out “Most men and women go through their lives using no more than a fraction – usually a rather small fraction – of the potentialities within them” (p. 7). I happen to agree with Gardner on this point. As a teacher you see numerous children who, with the proper training, could be very great, positive leaders; yet due to their home situation or lack of self-confidence these children grow up never knowing they have that possibility inside them. “We can do better. Much, much better” (Gardner, 1990 p. 7). Along with Gardner (1990) Wren introduces Burns (1978) who wrote The Crisis of Leadership. Initially, I thought a crisis in leadership was happening today because according to Burns (1978) “One of the most universal cravings of our time is a hunger for compelling and creative leadership” (p. 8). However, we need to keep in mind that Burns wrote about this in 1978. So leadership and those who lead have been having problems for a number of decades. “If we know all too much about our leader, we know far too little about leadership” (Burns, 1978 p. 9). What Burns was trying to bring to the forefront was the idea that we, as a public, know far too much about the personal lives of our leaders. The media has been able to bring personal situations into our homes that we would not otherwise be

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