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A Definition of Leadership

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In their essay, “What is Leadership?” Hughes, Ginnett, and Curphy present eight definitions of leadership from various leadership researchers. One of them is “an interpersonal relation in which others comply because they want to, not because they have to” (Merton, 1969). In order to better embody this definition, empathy, communication, and inspiration are skills that are important to gain from the Leadership Course. Empathy is important because when one is understanding of others’ situations, he or she can incorporate ways to benefit them into the overall goal; this way, people will want to comply with the leader in order to achieve the leader’s overall goal. Since this definition includes an interpersonal relation, it means that one has to work with other people, in which case communication is key. Also, inspiration is what drives people to want to comply with a leader, so the ability to inspire is a major part of this definition.

An additional definition presented is “actions that focus resources to create desirable opportunities” (Campbell, 1991). Efficiency and creative thinking are important skills to gain in order to embody this definition. In most cases, resources are limited and valuable. Therefore, it may only be possible to create a desirable opportunity if resources are used efficiently. Resources will yield the greatest result when they are utilized to their full capacity. In addition, one always has resources to work with but they may not always be easily identifiable. One should be able to think beyond the common framework and utilize anything and everything to create a desired opportunity.




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