First, I would like to revise/clarify last week's definition. I had not intended to disregard the initial definition of 2 weeks ago. Last week's complete definition should really be: Leadership is the talent of coordinating strengths of many people and effectively addressing a situation with the appropriate emotional approach in order to reach a significant overall goal.
This week, I would like to hone in on an important fact that I have considered about leadership: It's all about relationships. A leader is not an isolated being, at least, they shouldn't be. They are meant to be at the center of their organization or domain (Kyle, 1998). Stability does not come from the top, it comes from the center. This means an effective leader is involved in multiple areas of his or her domain, and uses the "Power of Presence" to unite the many people they coordinate and work with them. When a leader distances himself or herself from those people by working from the top, a me-versus-them effect can happen, and then important work does not get done. The recent Minnesota government shutdown is a very real example of this.
Another way relationships play an important part in leadership has biological origins. Recent studies have revealed a type of neuron in the brain called mirror neurons (Goleman, Boyatzis, 2008). These neurons mirror what other people do and we subconsciously make connections with others based on their actions and emotions. This can be useful for a leader to know and understand this phenomenon because they can project a healthy attitude that others will emulate.
Incorporating this into my progressing definition, this week leadership is: The talents of employing appropriate emotional approaches in varying situations and developing effective relationships to coordinate the strengths of many to accomplish an overall goal.
Goleman, D., & Boyatzis, R. (2008). "Social intelligence and the biology of leadership." Harvard Business Review, 86(9), 74-81. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=keh&AN=33983120&site=ehost-live
Kyle, D. T. (1998). "The sovereign: The power of presence." The Four Powers of Leadership: Presence, intention, wisdom, compassion (pp. 159 - 191). Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications Inc.