Leadership, can you fake it?
Updated: Mar 3
Forbes Apr 9, 2013
What Leadership isn’t
Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company.
Leadership has nothing to do with titles.
Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes.
Leadership isn’t management.
What leadership is
Warren Bennis: "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
Bill Gates: "As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others."
John Maxwell: "Leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less."
Wikipedia : Leadership is a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organisation to "lead", influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organisations.
Definition: Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal.
In my experience leadership comes in many flavours and has many faces as do leaders. You can not readily fake good leadership as those you lead can read the insincerity and micro actions that support the insincerity. Leaders are either true to the teams they lead taking accountability for the outcomes, or they blame those they lead for their own lack of leadership.
Poor leadership in organisations often results in communication breakdown, confusion over who does what, lack of contribution due to fear of ridicule and the list goes on.
In my experience leadership needs to come from within and be true, people see through insincerity.
I've listed 3 types of leaders I have encountered. (noting that leaders can often be influenced by Boards and Business owner goals).
1: Leaders who grow good people and in turn grow long term organisational profit and sustainability.
2: Leaders who grow short term profit at the expense of good people and long-term profit and sustainability.
3: Armchair Leaders who sit back not making decisions and blame others when things go wrong.
Leadership can often require a Leader to lead up (an example of leading up is CEO to Board) to enable a Leader to lead down, leading up requires a Leader to get out of their comfort zone more so than leading down . (Both require Leaders to get out of their comfort zone at times).
What has been your experience with Leaders and leadership styles?