My previous definition...
Leadership is a skill held within an individual who has a clear understanding of their strengths, surroundings, and values. Leadership is shown by those who then take initiative and make decisions based on their values; decisions are trusted and followed by others.
My new definition
A characteristic held within an individual who has a clear understanding of their strengths, values, and environment. Leadership is embodied in those who initiate and influence others towards the achievement of a common goal.
A change in my definition of leadership occurred because I came to the realization that my definition was too narrow. My definition was narrow in a sense because I failed to incorporate what leaders primary purpose is. I believe leaders exist because they strive towards a goal. Leaders are able to influence others (and lead others) to accomplishing a goal because they are solid in their beliefs and hold true to their values. I remember in class bringing up Adolph Hitler. Although I despise Hitler for was he did as a leader, it is hard to ignore that he displayed great leadership in turning Germany into a military superpower and being able to persuade others to persecute millions of people. Although he used his power for evil, Hitler was a leader because he was trusted, respected, admired, and followed to accomplish a goal.
With that being said, I felt it essential to incorporate "influencing others towards the achievement of a common goal." Without striving for achievement of a goal, I believe my definition of leadership lacked purpose (i.e. what is the purpose of leadership). Whereas my previous definition discussed what a leader is, I believe my new definition states what leadership is and what it is used for.