You may have an immediate answer to the question, "what is leadership to you?"
Vroom & Jago (2007) as cited in Chobanuk & James (2015) define leadership as a combination of influence and motivation, helping to drive stakeholders, whether individuals or teams, toward a shared vision.
Paramanandam (2021) defines leadership as the way in which one gets people moving toward a specific goal.
You may have experienced these concepts in several environments:
You may even have been the one doing the influencing and motivating.
With this in mind, we all have ideas, notions, and visuals about leadership.
One of my favorite elements of leadership is that it isn't title or authority dependent. That means that anyone can be a leader.
You don't have to have years of tenure in a job, earned a specific title, or oversee a certain number of employees or departments.
It could be your first day on the job. It could even be your first job. And, you can still be a leader.
After graduating from Bridgewater State College (now University) with a degree in Physical Education, my first post-college job was as a personal trainer.
While sales, a significant part of the job, was new to me at the time, I had great confidence and knowledge in fitness program design, customer service, and exercise instruction.
Despite not having managerial authority, I was able to lead by taking the initiative to teach team members in sharing the insight, strategies, and techniques that I had.
And, my efforts were reciprocated as I was able to learn from others, as each member of our team had their areas of specialty. Iron sharpens iron!
If we're considering sports teams, recreational or competitive, youth, collegiate, or professional, leaders might be the coaches, captains, support staff, or any of the players.
A coach is a singular voice, though powerful, and may rely on others to encourage commitment to a message, and the desired actions, in instances and conversations where they're not present.
Captains may have been nominated or elected, yet they aren't the only ones capable of demonstrating leadership qualities or contributing positively to the culture.
Leaders are also present in the home. They can be immediate family, whether parents or siblings, or extended family in aunts, uncles, grandparents, and others.
And, while not everyone's home environment is the same, it's important to note that family isn't always necessarily about blood-relation.
Your family, and the leaders within, can be those individuals providing the greatest trust, security, encouragement, and love.
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Chobanuk, J., & James, K. (2015). Leadership Special Interest Group: What Is Leadership? Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 25(1), 114-117.
Paramanandam, P. (2021). The Leadership Theory Jungle - a Bird's Eye View. PRERANA: Journal of Management Thought & Practice, 13(2), 45-57.
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