A Leader Involves Others in Reaching Goals Within a System
"Leading" and "leadership" come from the Old English word lithan, meaning "to go."According
to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, leadership means "to guide on a way, especially by going in
advance."Thus, leadership is often about "going first," and influencing others as much by one's
actions as by one's words, as one would lead or guide a dance partner through the steps of a dance.
Leadership is also defined as the ability to "direct the operations, activity, or performance of" (as in
"leading" an orchestra), and "to bring to some conclusion or condition" (e.g., "lead to believe
In its broadest sense, leadership can be defined as the ability to involve others in the process of
accomplishing a goal within some larger system or environment. That is, a leader leads or influences a
collaborator or group of collaborators towards achieving some end in the context of an organization.
In businesses and organizations, 'leadership' is often contrasted with 'management'. Management is
typically defined as "getting things done through others."In comparison, leadership is defined as,
"getting others to want to do things."Thus, leadership is intimately tied up with motivating and
"Management" is usually associated with improving productivity, establishing order and stability,
and making things run efficiently and smoothly. "Leadership" is required in times of turbulence,
social transformation and change.
The Skills of 'Meta Leadership'
In the new economy, however, leaders do not have influence simply because they are 'bosses' or
'commanders'. Rather, leaders are people who have vision and are committed to "creating a world to
which people want to belong," and can meet the challenge of creating infrastructure, environment and
culture necessary to reach the vision in a short amount of time. This demands a special set of skills and
1. Forming a Strategic Vision
2. Communicating the Vision
3. Building Relationships and Alliances Which Support the Vision
4. Inspiring and Motivating Team Members
5. Transforming (Imagineering) Vision Into Action
According to David Guo, CEO of Display Research Laboratories and an avowed "serial
entrepreneur,""A successful entrepreneur needs to be able to communicate his or her vision and