Dwight D. Eisenhower once said ‘Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.’
I love this definition because it has so many layers to it.
Bad leaders order people to do things they really don’t want to. Good leaders put in the emotional labour necessary to avoid this. Firstly, they understand the goals and the motivations of the people they work with. Secondly, they work hard to tie individual goals to that of the organization. Thirdly, they enroll people on the journey and garner their willing participation.
The one bit that I disagree with – I don’t think of leadership as an art. It is rather a craft that be trained and cultivated with practice.