Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Is Leadership Defined?

I've been a bit less prolific this month and I can't blame it completely on a busy schedule. I'm always busy and yet I still make time to write. Upon reflection, I realize that I'm finding this topic more difficult than the others we've discussed previously, which has lead to a touch of writer's block.

It's a fact that women hold far fewer leadership positions than their male counterparts. There's lots of research and lots of theories as to why that is so. When women do make it into a leadership position, they seem to be more highly scrutinized. You need only to read media coverage about Hillary Clinton to know that's true. Women who try to act like "one of the guys" are typically not accepted. However employing a traditionally female style isn't always effective either.

I've done lots of reading on the topic this past month and it's resulted in more questions than answers. I think the answers all depend on how you define leadership. Does being a leader mean being the boss? Does it mean being an executive? Being the CEO does impart positional authority, but does it necessarily mean that you're a good leader?

How do you define leadership? What are the qualities you think are required to be a good leader? How should you demonstrate these qualities? Would you demonstrate them differently based on your gender? I'm looking forward to discussing this next week and look forward to hearing other's thoughts either in person or by posting your comments.

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