By, Stephen S. Cook

I am in a Leadership training class through work. There are 6 of us in the group. We meet every other week for an all-day session. We were recently asked to define leadership.

Here’s what I found:

A Dictionary Definition

Function: noun 1 : the office or position of a leader; 2 : capacity to lead 3 : the act or an instance of leading — Source: Merriam-Webster On-line

Leadership Definition 1

“My definition of a leader . . . is a man who can persuade people to do what they don’t want to do, or do what they’re too lazy to do, and like it.” — Harry S. Truman, 1884-1972, Thirty-third President of the United States, Miller, More Plan Speaking

Leadership Definition 2

“You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things; you lead people.” — Grace Hopper, Admiral, U. S. Navy (retired), Nova ( PBS TV), 1986

Leadership Definition 3

“The superior leader gets things done with very little motion. He imparts instruction not through many words but through a few deeds. He keeps informed about everything but interferes hardly at all. He is a catalyst, and though things would not get done well if he weren’t’t there, when they succeed he takes no credit. And because he takes no credit, credit never leaves him.” — Lao Tse, Tao Te Ching

Leadership Definition 4

“Leadership occurs when one person induces others to work toward some predetermined objectives.” — Massie

Leadership Definition 5

“Leadership is the ability of a superior to influence the behavior of a subordinate or group and persuade them to follow a particular course of action.” — Chester Bernard

Leadership Definition 6

“Leadership is the art to of influencing and directing people in such a way that will win their obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation in achieving common objectives.” — U. S. Air Force

Leadership Definition 7

“The feminine leadership style emphasizes cooperation over competition; intuition as well as rational thinking in problem solving, team structures where power and influence are shared within the group . . . interpersonal competence; and participative decision making.” — Marilyn Loden, Founder and president, Loden Associates, Management Review, December 1987

Leadership Definition 8

“The first job of a leader is to define a vision for the organization…. Leadership of the capacity to translate vision into reality.” — Warren Bennis, President, University of Cincinnati, University of Maryland symposium, January 21, 1988

Leadership Definition 9

“The ultimate test of practical

leadership is the realization of intended, real change that meets people’s enduring needs.” — James MacGregor Burns

Leadership Definition 10

“Managers have subordinates—leaders have followers.” — Murray Johannsen

Leadership Definition 11

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams quotes (American 6th US President (1825-29), eldest son of John Adams, 2nd US president. 1767-1848)

Leadership Definition 12

“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” — Henry Ford

Leadership Definition 13

“Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.” — Grace Hopper, Admiral, U. S. Navy (retired), Speech, Washington, D. C., February 1987

Leadership Definition 14

“As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; the next, the people hate.” — Lao Tse, 604-531 B. C., Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism, Tao Te Ching

Leadership Definition 15

“A manager takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go but ought to.” — Rosalyn Carter

My Definition

“Leadership is the ability to guide and inspire others to act; to work together towards a common goal.’ -Stephen S. Cook