Like many others, I have had the opportunity to both, observe leadership from afar, and also lead teams. I firmly believe that leadership can be taught and that one learns by experience. That said, I have had the fortune of being under some truly inspiring corporate leaders and it seemed to me as if they could do no wrong.
Over the years, I have formed my own opinion on leadership and have come to believe in the following:
Leadership is about seeing systems and acting on them
Behind all the posturing and humanity, a leader should be able to map down the processes in a system. He must intricately know every part of his organisation and how it functions — the processes and the people behind them.
An act of leadership is any activity that improves the capability of a system to fulfil its purpose
A good leader will quickly map down the processes in a system and identify the weak links. They will also get down to fixing this as soon as they have all the information on how the system functions.
Leadership has nothing to do with titles or positions
Lastly, leadership has nothing to do with how high up the ladder you are in the corporate hierarchy. It has nothing to do with positions and titles. Good leaders know how to make a difference to a process in a system and act on it.