Most people believe they know what a leader is, but have never thought deeply about how to define a leader. Dictionary.com defines a leader as “a guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.” This definition is too simplistic for me. If you have a terrible boss, is he still a true leader? No, he is just your boss (and hopefully, you will have enough sense to quit before too much of your life force is sucked away by him!).
The students in our Summer 2011 Future Global Leaders program were asked what it means to be a leader, and they came up with many interesting responses.
“knows the nature of problems and makes a decision”
“is honest about her mistakes”
“is trusted, ethical, and moral”
“is inquisitive, a learner, a thinker, and a great teacher”
“takes independent action without disrupting the cooperative spirit of the group”
“is responsible for everything”
“is generous, honest, and encouraging”
“is hard work”
“is spiritual, responsible, and has a end goal”
“respects others to gain their respect”
“is a leader of herself”
“takes responsibility for what he does and what his friend does”
How do YOU define a leader?