What is Leadership?
At the most basic level, leadership is working through others to get things done. There are things you need to be done, but you can't or don't want to do them yourself, so you choose to work through others to get it done. You choose to lead.
Examples of Leadership
A parent who "doesn't have time" for chores enlists the help of their kids.
A nonprofit founder who isn't good with operations recruits a board member who is.
A chef who can't do all the prep hires and works through an "assistant."
How does influence play a part in leadership?
Leadership is often thought about in the context of influence and power. A leader uses influence to get other people to help.
Examples of Influence
"Vote for me"
"Solve this problem"
What are the sources of influence or power?
As a leader, it's helpful to know the ways you can influence others. Some methods are good. Some are not. Sources of influence or power include coercive, connection, reward, legitimate, reverent, information, and expert.
A leader threatens punishment.
Example: "Do it or you're fired!"
A leader uses relationships with influential people.
Example: "Help me and I'll ask the CEO to help you."
A leader promises something of value.
Example: "Make one more sale and you'll get your bonus!"
A leader uses position in an organization.
Example: "I'm in charge and you'll do what I say."
A leader without legitimate power uses personal relationships.
Example: "I need your help. It will be epic!"
A leader is influential because of information.
Example: "Let's ask the CEO's assistant, he'll have the data."
A leader is influential because of their own skill or knowledge.
Example: "Let's ask the boss, she's great at getting agreements."
- What are some examples when you have acted as a leader and enlisted the help of others?
- What are some instances when you have been a follower and helped others?
- Who are people who have influenced you, and how?
- What examples from your past can you think of for each of the seven sources of influence or power?