Defining Leadership These Eleven Ways

Joe Weinlick
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The best leaders are the ones who use their own personal strengths to develop strong teams that work well together to meet goals. Leading well doesn't mean following a formula. Instead, you need to look inside yourself to see what works best for your personality, your followers and your business environment. Here are a few different definitions of leadership to get you started.

1. Creating a Better World

Leading well starts with having a vision for a better world. When you believe in your vision, you inspire your team to work to make it happen.

2. Understanding Your Team

Great leaders take the time to get to know the people they lead. If you understand how people feel and what motivates them, you are better able to help them work together to get things done.

3. Providing Tools

Become a better leader by giving your team the tools they need to do their jobs well. These might be work tools like the right data or software, or they might be motivational tools, such as praise or bonuses. Also consider the quality of the work environment. Would your team do better with a quieter work space? Is the room the right temperature and free from drafts?

4. Taking Responsibility

The best leaders give praise freely but quickly take responsibility when something goes wrong. Show your employees that you have their backs, and speak with confidence for the group when dealing with problems.

5. Setting a Good Example

Be honest and trustworthy, and work hard in your position. Leading well includes being the kind of person that you want your employees to emulate.

6. Seeing the Big Picture

As the leader, you need to have a strong understanding of your company's mission and how your team's activities fit into the company's goals. Make sure that your team members understand how their activities fit into the big picture.

7. Helping Others Form Bonds

Team mates who feel close to each other work better together. When you are leading well, you help your team members get along better. Be quick to support collaboration and don't let misunderstandings fester.

8. Solving Problems

The best leaders are quick to recognize problem areas and creative in their problem solving. Learn to see problems as challenges that you can solve to help your team.

9. Boosting Achievement

Leading well includes helping your followers do better than they would do without you. Figure out how to motivate your team to improve performance, and ensure each employee has the knowledge and information necessary to do a great job.

10. Growing Leaders

Another role of a leader is to train future leaders. Watch for team members with leadership talent, and give them assignments to help them grow those skills.

11. Being an Advocate

Stand up for your employees when necessary, and show off their talents when the opportunity arises. Leading well includes helping your team members work toward their personal career goals as well as improving their performance in their current positions.

Regardless of which of these definitions of leadership you focus on, it is always important to consider the well-being of your team while working toward meeting your team goals. Remember that leading well includes setting a good example, creating strong bonds and training new leaders for the future.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at


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