Leadership is the process by which an individual mobilizes people and resources to achieve a goal. It requires both a set of skills that can be learned as well as certain attributes that can be nurtured. Leaders inspire, challenge, and encourage others. They can persuade and influence, and they show resilience and persistence. All aspects of society have leaders. The concept of leader may call to mind a CEO, a prime minister, a general, a sports team captain, or a school principal; examples of leadership exist across a variety of organizations.
Leaders motivate others to aspire to achieve and help them to do so. They focus on the big picture with a vision of what could be and help others to see that future and believe it is possible. In this way, leaders seek to bring about substantive changes in their teams, organizations, and societies.
Leadership is a relationship between followers and those who inspire them and provide direction for their efforts and commitments. It affects how people think and feel about their work and how it contributes to a larger whole. Effective leaders can mean the difference between increasing a team's ability to perform or diminishing its performance, between keeping efforts on track or encountering disaster, and even between success or failure.
Leadership and Management
Leadership is one of the most important concepts in management, and many researchers have proposed theories and frameworks for understanding it. Some have distinguished among types of leadership such as charismatic, heroic, and transformational leadership. Other experts discuss the distinctions between managers and leaders, while others address the personality and cognitive factors most likely to predict a successful leader. The many dimensions of leadership indicate how complex a notion it is and how difficult effective leadership can be.
Abraham Lincoln, 1860
Abraham Lincoln is considered a model of leadership. He fought to preserve national unity amid the United States' greatest trial, the Civil War, and successfully worked to end slavery .