What is leadership?

Fwd: photos
Originally uploaded by opal1960

A good while ago on a leadership course paid for by work, a question was posed: “What is leadership?”. (Rather an important question given the course’s subject matter.

The flippant anwer given by a Vice-President was that a leader was one who led. His view was that we should look around and see if there were people following. In a way, that’s right, but it’s vacuous and doesn’t define how one might become a better leader – how do you get more followers?

In an interview with The Times today, Indra Nooji, Chief Executive of Pepsi, describes leadership as the “5 C’s”:

  • Competence (damn good at getting results)

  • Confidence to have the courage to make the tough calls;

  • Communications skills, to convey your vision and direction

  • Compass pointed north to your true values

  • Compassion – empathy, not sympathy.

A very fair summary I thought.