Definition

leadership

Contributor(s): Francesca Sales

Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization. 

Leadership involves making sound (and sometimes difficult) decisions, creating and articulating a clear vision, establishing achievable goals and providing followers with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve these goals. Good leaders often possess the following characteristics: self-confidence, strong communication and management skills, creative and innovative thinking, perseverance in the face of failure, willingness to take risks, openness to change and levelheadedness and reactiveness in times of crisis.

In business, individuals who exhibit these leadership qualities can ascend to senior management or C-level positions, such as CEO, CIO or president. Noteworthy individuals who have exhibited strong leadership include Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple and Steve Jobs' successor; Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft; and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.

This was last updated in July 2014

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What examples of outstanding leadership have you encountered?
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Leadership is important to give a company direction. Without trust and respect you could be heading in the wrong direction. Leaders need to be open to suggestions and input from those involved and not close minded.
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