By definition, leadership is the action of leading a group or individual. Of course, leadership is much more than that. There are aspects of leadership that involve culture, being a follower, or even a process of evolving over time. It is not the act of telling people what to do. This style will leave a leader very lonely very quickly;

thus, a leader is now left to their own devices. Actually, taking on this role requires a great deal.

There is a personal stake in how the team performs and the overall morale of the stakeholders. “What is leadership?” can be classified as the question that can cause a paradigm shift in one’s approach or style for directing team members. Answering this question is thought-provoking in the least and can make tremendous impacts on future actions, such as policy changes, management decisions as well as human behaviors.

Leadership requires several character traits to be developed or already be in place in order for success and plans to come to fruition. Listening with genuine intent and compassion are two key factors. All too often an employee will need to speak with a supervisor and realize that genuine interest in what is important to the employee, merely gets a nod or a reply, “Okay, I will take that under consideration.”

This is a dead giveaway that any time spent beyond that moment on his or her concerns may be futile. It does not need to be this way, but all too often it turns out this way. Leading those who trust in the manager and supervisor means investing in everyone’s well-being, their interests, and taking time to be perceived as approachable.

Answering the question of “What is leadership?” is not a simple answer. Evolving over time, many experiences and processes will need to occur and be completed before one will have a reasonably clear understanding of what it means to be a leader. Remembering that all of those being supervised are individuals with likes, dislikes, and feelings, addresses some of the “soft skills” needed to gain the respect and trust of all stakeholders.