There are so many answers to the question, “What is Leadership?” but which one is correct? The basic answer to what is leadership is the action of leading a person, group or organisation. But as we all know, it means so much more!
For starters, leaders must have to reason behind their actions. Before heading headlong into battle, whether that’s in an office or out on the battlefield, there are questions a leader needs to ask themselves.
Leaders must be able to answer: “What difference do I want to make?” and “How will my actions make this intended difference?” Knowing the answers to these questions and having the forethought to ask, is what separates an average person from a leader.
Throughout history, there are thousands of examples of leaders who changed the world through their actions. Some of the most famous examples are still talked about today and have their names edged into our history books and our minds. These men and women changed the world through their actions.
The most celebrated leaders often come from humble beginnings but go on to greatness. When we hear their stories, we both learn from it and find ourselves aspiring to reach similar heights.
What is Leadership: Napoleon Bonaparte
Take Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), a French military leader who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th Century. After working in a plushy job, he decided to begin studying for five years at the Military College of Brienne. At completion, he moved into the military academy of Paris.
Napoleon ended up at the military college of Brienne, where he studied for five years, before moving on to the military academy in Paris.
He rose to power after the French Revolution. He was cunning and shrewd, and although his army was nowhere near the same size as the enemy, he didn’t falter. Knowing that bigger numbers did not always mean bigger strength.
His significant leadership action was demonstrated in the way he was able to convince thousands to join his army despite the larger enemy forces. It was his conviction, backed by his numerous victories that meant his military leadership grew.
His rule and influence expanded across France, becoming widely acknowledged for his regard for the common man and, of course, his military might. There’s no doubt the leadership actions taken changed the world; spreading his influence wider than he could have ever imagined. It is for these reasons, that he is remembered as a Leader.
What is Leadership: Oprah Winfrey
You could ask what a tv show host has to do with leadership? It’s the way Oprah Winfrey pioneered the format, and her inclusive nature makes her a leader. Her story is legendary, and her actions have indeed changed the world.
Growing up, Oprah faced many obstacles in her way including abusive family members and her family’s abject poverty. During her childhood, she was said to be a natural talker with the family saying she would interview the crows in the backyard or the bus driver whenever she could. At the completion of her schooling, she attended Tennessee State University and studied communications.
Her first job in the media was at a radio station called WVOL, where she was hired to do the news part-time. Her next move was to the tv screens to read the local news, and from there she was swiftly moved into the position of co-host for a local talk show.
It wasn’t long until Oprah had taken over as host and the Oprah Winfrey Show was born. It’s her actions when she rose to fame that carved her name into history. Among her achievements, she was a passionate philanthropist, an empathetic speaker and listener, an advocate for the LGBT community and a spiritual leader.
Thought the show finished in 2011, Oprah continues to be part of our culture. Her website is still visited by millions each year, and initiatives like Oprah’s Book Club continues on today. Indeed, she is a leader of a more modern age.
What is Leadership: Begin Your Leadership Legacy
So, what is leadership?
It’s having the strength to lead from the front, the ability to create a goal for the good of others and possessing the passion and tenacity to work towards a better tomorrow. Whether you’re on the battlefield, the world stage or at work, leadership is highly regarded if you can do it right. You must be a leader that followers want to follow.
Have you ever considered yourself a leader? Do you want to step up and have your name carved in the history books or excel in the workplace as a leader instead of just a “boss”?
To be a leader, you may need to get qualified. At HETC we offer Business courses that teach you how to be a successful and influential leader. Our courses range from teaching the basics of good business to human resources and leadership and management.
If you’re interested in becoming a Leader, contact our Career Advisors and let’s talk about your leadership future. You can also take our Quiz, ‘What Kind of Leader Are You?’
Are you ready to make a change?