|What Leadership Means to Us|
Leadership is the active ability to inspire by one's own example – to
ardently motivate others to achieve with integrity and accountability their
greatest potential, for both personal and professional progress.
—Christine Lin '08
Leaders know how and when to let others
shine. They see potential in people and create environments where those
potentials can be fully realized.
—Deborah Shin '08
Leadership is the antithesis of fear.
—Joshua Nelson '08
Subtract the status quo from social, environmental, and economic potential.
The difference is leadership.
—Koichi Kurisu '08
Leadership is beyond focusing and motivating a group to enable them to
achieve and sustain common goals. It involves being accountable and responsible
for the group as a whole. It is about providing continuity, momentum, and
flexibility in accommodating changes in the course of direction.
—Farid Dadashev '07
Good leaders defer all credit and the accolades of success to their teammates
and subordinates. Additionally, good leaders accept full responsibility
for any failures of his or her team.
—Lt. John-Paul Menez, USNR, '07
Leadership is the ability to understand the passions of people and to
integrate these passions in a collective goal. Leadership is to understand
when to lead and when to be guided in order to achieve a desire.
—Ivan Saldana '08
Leadership is about courage to dream big, courage of conviction, courage
to go against traditional thinking and courage to take risks without having
to compromise on values and principles. A good leader not only adapts to
change with speed, but also sees change as an opportunity. The ability
to create a shared vision, to communicate that vision, and to inspire a
team towards that vision are essential features of good leadership.
—Anand Jain '08
Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate a group of people to
align their interests and efforts towards a common goal that is beneficial
for each person and the wider community.
—Anamaria Aristizabal '07
Leadership is the ability and commitment to deliver excellence as well
as the ability to empower others to deliver excellence.
—Emmy Cheung '07
Leadership is about making those around you successful. Great leaders
internalize their responsibility, effectively translate their vision, and
empower people to exceed expectations in every way.
—Purvi Tank '07
Leadership is the ability to inspire people and to give them the motivation
to surpass their own limit to reach a noble goal.
—Anthony Allard '07
A leader goes further. Beyond the boundaries of bottom lines, party
politics, quarterly reports, or project deliverables. To be one step
ahead, a leader must understand his/her own guiding principles and ethics – and
bring those values to each interaction. Leadership requires responding
to crisis with innovation, delivering creativity in management, and demonstrating
flexibility in the field. Holding true to your values requires constant
thoughtfulness and ingenuity to draw meaningful connections between issues
and to find answers beyond the obvious.
—Stacy Abder '07
Leadership is providing an example that
others want to follow.
—Jeff Russell '08
What sets a leader apart from other managers? A leader is willing to risk
marginalizing his popularity in order to produce the innovation and changes
necessary to catapult the organization forward.
—Jonathan Moore '08
Leadership is about courage, conviction, and charsima...to chart a path
into the unknown and to motivate others to believe and to follow.
Leadership is having the consciousness and courage to consistently look
for ways to serve all with dignity and respect. In doing so, "leaders" become
agents of contagion, empowering and inviting others to behave similarly.
—Justin Manning '07
Leadership is more than just giving directions and seeing that they are
carried out. It’s about helping set a vision, inspiring people,
enabling others to achieve results.
—Spencer Hutchins '07
Good leadership stems from two processes. First, you reach inside yourself
with courage to discover your core values. Second, you honestly express
your core values as a bright vision, motivating others to replicate the
discovery and expression processes within themselves. When work is guided
by core values, it is transformed from a process of subordination into
one of powerful creativity and meaning.
—Michael Swetye '08, Joint Degree Candidate, Yale School of Medicine
To be a leader is to lead with strategic balance. It is to steadfastly
prod, and to encourage with passion. It is to use not only one's mind,
but one's sensitivity and heart to initiate and perpetuate positive change.
—Nadia Gomes '07
Leadership is the ability to grasp a dynamic vision, and by example inspiring
others to follow it. It means being the decisive one, even if it means
sometimes being wrong. It means admitting mistakes, while maintaining a
focus on the goal.
—Andrew Steffen '08
True leadership defies categorization. A leader is at once many
different people to the entity she leads: a supportive friend, an honest
critic, an enthusiastic teacher, a proud parent, a convincing apologist,
an inspiring visionary. Leadership is the constant process of analysis,
intuition, and adaptation to meet the needs of each new situation.
—Alexander Acree '08, Joint Degree Candidate, Yale Law School
Rather than the skill to guide others with one’s own ideas, leadership
is the ability to inspire a sense of individual and shared purpose, to
encourage individual and shared creativity, and to support the force that
evolves when purpose and creativity unite.
—Bridget Gillich '08
Leadership is inspirational. It’s about energizing people to exceed
their potential and motivating organizations to achieve great things. Leadership
is contagious. It’s not a trait bestowed upon a chosen few; it’s
a way of being that encourages others to be the same. Leadership is everlasting.
Great leaders continue to guide us through the ideals they impart on the
generations of leaders that follow.
—Joshua Fried '07
Leadership to me means finding those gaps which impede society from growing,
and building the bridges which will fill those gaps. Leadership creates
the opportunity for the musician and the technician to speak the same language,
for the dancer and the accountant to believe in a common vision, for the
wealth and the poverty to join in a single mission. Leadership is
the chance to redefine all needs, gather forces, and respond to those needs,
constantly and beyond expectation.
—Paola Allais '08, Joint Degree Candidate, Yale School of Drama
Leadership means helping people maximize their potential. It is accomplished
by integrating vision, knowledge and skill to achieve a common goal. Great
leaders are examples of integrity, positively impacting society from private
circles to the grander public sphere.
—Oliver Hahl '08
True leadership is the rare ability of an individual to inspire people
and organizations to transcend their own expectations. It represents
the act of putting principles, passion, ambition, and imagination to work
on the behalf of others.
—Stefan Lewellen '07
Leadership is shepherding the best of the human experience to fruition
and resilience, to deliver results and cultivate renewal. It is that
intersection of passion, dedication, and integrity that electrifies those
around you and gives them a cause greater than themselves.
—David Glass '08
Leadership means walking the fine line between leading and listening. It
is the skill to inspire people and organizations to perform to the best
of their ability. Leadership is possessing the gift to bring out an
individual’s or an organization’s hidden potential, such that
the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
—Heather Stone '07
Leadership is not a right, but a privilege. Leadership should necessitate
responsibility – responsibility to make the best, ethical choice and
responsibility to all those who have a stake in one's leadership role. Leadership
should represent unparalleled excellence in comprehension, creativity, and
compassion. Leadership should embody a willingness to uphold the highest standards
and should embody the ability to inspire others to believe in and to achieve
a worthy goal.
—John Wang '08, Joint Degree Candidate, Yale Law School
Leadership means motivating others towards the successful realization
of a shared vision. Leaders bring out the best in each person
on their team, so that the sum of the whole is even greater than the
sum of its parts. Role models for all those around them, leaders
earn the trust of others by consistently demonstrating integrity,
compassion, dedication, and loyalty - even when they think nobody
is looking. Above all, true leaders are able to see beyond
their personal ambitions in order to work towards the greater good
of their organizations and, more importantly, towards the greater
good of society.
—Danielle King '07
Leadership is the process of discovering and creating new opportunities
in the least likely of places, and taking up issues and challenges that
others have not addressed. As a leader, I desire to forge a sustainable
path where none exists and develop new ways to add value to people’s
lives and livelihood.
—Nnenna Nnoli '07
Leadership means having the strength and vision to improve the health
of the women in my community and my country.
—Barbara Wexelman '08, Joint Degree Candidate, Yale School of Medicine
To lead well is to strive toward an authentic vision of positive change,
but above all else to do so with both poise and grace: the poise of measured
self-assurance and the grace to consider unconditionally and respond thoughtfully
to every opinion, need, hope, and fear expressed by those collaborators
always just over your shoulder. Only then can that essential
vision maintain its vitality, subject to relentless inquiry, adaptable
to change, and owned equally by every participant in its life. Leadership
is the conscious erasure of “follower” from the lexicon of
—Lisa Schilling '08
True leadership is built upon mutual understanding, appreciation
and trust. Leaders have the ability to inspire with passion and unconsciously
display their integrity. Leadership is the bold confidence to take
those extra ten strokes, knowing fully that your team will follow.
—Matt Hunton '07
Leaders are compelling and they’re compelling because their words
and their deeds resonate. Whether the name is MacArthur, Mandela, or Meir,
however you interpret their politics, there is only one way that I interpret
their histories of leadership. They held themselves to a higher standard.
Leaders connect with the people they serve; they deliver a message with
charisma and to back it all up they deliver action with aptitude. It’s
a standard that people find compelling and it’s
a standard that provides the platform from which truly effective leaders
can see the bigger picture and connect the dots that truly resonate.
—Mothusi Pahl '07
Leaders represent the collective soul of the group, organization, and/or
country they lead. Leaders and followers co-create each other.
—Debbie Banda '95
Leadership is developing an infectious desire within an organization to
drive toward the mission. It is about action, not ideas.
—Mark Culliton '95
Leadership is motivating your people, making informed, tough decisions
for your organization, and accepting responsibility for the consequences
of your actions.
—Monisha Merchant '04
Leadership is making faith into sight - be it for myself, others, a company or a cause.
—Karen Liu '06
Leadership is the temporary embodiment of the good, the true and the beautiful.
—North Lennox '06
Leadership is the ability to get the best out
of every individual in the team. A leader is an embodiment of courage for
Strong leadership is characterized by the ability
to command attention without demanding it.
Leadership is the
quality of helping people in the organization learn to appreciate the significance
of their work and perceive it as value addition to the organization. In
an environment such as this, people will greet each moment with interest
and energy and this vibrant work atmosphere will stimulate individual and
Leadership is not just conventional example-setting
but also about achieving. It is about careful execution of the plans to
succeed at short-terms goals to realize the long-term objectives, and on
the way empowering those who follow and work with you.
The Greek explanation of leadership is the individual
who provides direction is as well providing aid. My definition of leadership
stems from an intrinsic value on life-ethics of reciprocity. In other
words, it is familiarized fundamental-do unto others as you would want
them to do unto you. Leadership is earned, just as respect. An individual
becomes a leader because of knowledge, respect, and collaborative
To me, leadership means positive, powerful change
that will further a given entity for generations to come.
Leadership is knowing what tomorrow's landscape
will look like and being able to show others what the future can hold
Leadership means: a) having the courage and conviction
to attain a goal, no matter how difficult it is b) motivating the team
to bring about the best c) owning failures and having the guts to say, "the
buck stops here."
From my experience in positions of leadership,
I find people respond to a task when they know they will be treated fairly,
their input will be respected, and they can trust in the integrity of the
person responsible for the success of a pursuit. Thus, I believe good leadership
is derived from being a careful listener and communicator who understands
the needs of others and the goals of an endeavor. To me, leaders are not
complacent by the way the world shapes them, but are motivated by the way
they can shape the world. I believe a leader is directed by what is achievable,
not by what is preventing his or her success. When leaders see past hurdles
or difficulties, they inspire hope and commitment, which is essential for
any pursuit. Furthermore, my approach to leadership is not characterized
by rushing to the forefront and being a directing charge, but rather acting
as a rudder in the rear maintaining a course with a clear view of what
Living an exemplary life! In business, being a trail blazer yet a warm
person respecting the individual and nurturing human resources to achieve
a common objective. Also being fair, transparent, and working with integrity.
—Ajit de Silva
The essence of true leadership is the ability to follow as well as to
lead. Well defined values, clear vision, a sense of purpose, sufficient
resources, and a good strategy (or a policy) are some of the main components
of true leadership. A true leader must be self-confident, well informed,
and persuasive in the community or in business and in relationships. Besides
that, he/she must be an indefatigable reader, a dedicated learner, and
a critical thinker. A true leader must endure hatred and rejection. Turn
failure into success. A true leader must stay competitive and innovative
if he/she is to create the future. A true leader must also have a keen
sense of HUMOR, self-knowledge, outstanding manners, and a few trustworthy
friends. Above all, he/she must know how to balance power and gather shrewd
advisers (or teammates).
—Galina Draganova, Yale Divinity School '05
Leadership is inspiring people to achieve excellent goals ethically.
—Seyed Behzad Kazemi Heydari
True leadership is the ability to inspire oneself and others around you
to make a difference. True leadership requires one to demonstrate compelling
modesty and to maintain the highest level of personal and professional
Leadership is the quality characterized by an appropriate mix of vision,
passion, and energy with humility. A true leader is first and foremost
a good human being who passionately believes in some cause bigger than
his personal fulfillments. The cause may be economic, social, political,
or even spiritual but it is something that goes beyond the boundaries of
personal gains, happiness, or satisfaction. It is actually the 'cause'
that people follow and not the person but the intensity and honesty in
following would depend upon the person who is leading and that's what leadership
is all about. A true leader walks his talk and leads by example.
—Aditya Sarvjeet Bhalla
Leadership is a state of mind which enables a person to take responsibility
of not only him or herself but of others and the society as well. Leadership
is living in the present, learning from the past, and taking initiative
to work for a better tomorrow for as many individuals and societies
Leadership is the art of influencing and directing people in order to
achieve a common goal. It is also the ability to interact with people so
well that you inspire them to do great things.
To me, leadership means providing consistent and clear direction toward
an ethically sound and personally rewarding goal.
Leadership means to empower any community or group for a goal. It means
controlling the power by neither the leader nor any follower but by the
whole community or group. A true leader always tries to make his group
more and more capable to achieve a specific goal.
A leader knows how to gain his or her people's
respect, understands the importance of vision, and can find a way to achieve
the common goal.
Leadership is guidance and esteem, but not control
or authority. Leadership isn't sought, it is thrust upon you when nobody
else will take charge, or nobody else should take charge. In accord, leadership
is about supporting someone else who is indeed the most suited to take
charge. And of course, leadership is having the wherewithal to have others
support you in those actions. Simply stated, you are a leader when others
look to you for a sense of calm and validation when they decide to either
take charge or support another who has.
To be able to motivate others to achieve together
the stated objectives by creating value and sharing knowledge.
Leadership is the ability to give voice to the
important social issues that may otherwise go overlooked. Too often individuals
seek leadership as a means to further there careers, but they fail to recognize
that the greatest power a leader can have comes in his/her opportunity
to stress moral and social responsibility to the next generation that will
rise and take over the leadership reigns.
Leadership to me is about inspiring others. It
is about living my own personal values and aligning them with my organizational
values to instill the faith in the people I work with. Personal integrity,
respect for people, personal accountability, and good citizenship, with
focus on maximizing stakeholder returns, are the cornerstones of good leadership.
It's taking the responsibility for others and
being head of your team without any pressure on its participants but basing
on your team own free will to enable you to lead them.
A true leader is a person who motivates his team
to work at its utmost potential. He should be a visionary.
Leadership is about motivating a team to achieve
their full potential. It is a process through which a leader can instigate
a feeling of worth in his team and give them space and encouragement so
that they can come out of their shell and face the world with a new defined
To me leadership is more than power or influence
over subordinates, it's more about team building, confidence building among
the team members, encouraging continuous learning, and inspire the team
members to bring out their real potential.
—Vijai Prasad Shanmugam
Leadership means respect given by others in response
to your thinking and implementing dreams.
Effective organizational leadership to me means
achieving the goals set by the organization with the help of its people
and making them feel that 'they' have achieved something worthwhile for
the organization without being forced to do so.
In Germany, we are starting to take a wholly new
approach to leadership. Leadership becomes more than just the exercise
of power, as it has been traditionally reflected in the German boards of
management (which have a much more active role than their US counterparts).
Leadership is about uniting people around a same goal, around a same vision.
The corporate leader is a gatekeeper of the corporate culture, one that
works on maintaining the high standards within a corporation and one that
ensures the corporate mission is in accordance with benefits for all its
stakeholders, be it the shareholders, the communities or the employees.
In German, we say that, "The one that stands on the top is not meant
to look down on others but to look forward and lead the way."
To me leadership is a "give and take" phenomenon.
A leader gives his/her vision, guidance, care, sympathy, and protection
and in return receives the trust and cooperation of his/her disciples.
Leadership is strategy used to guide your ship
and the people in it to achieve a desired goal, and work together as
a team to do so.
True leadership is about inspiring and not motivating
others, because inspiration has a lasting effect while motivation can die
out. Leadership is to inspire people not just in one's area of interest
but in any walk of life. For example, Sachin Tendulkar, Roger Federer,
and Tiger Woods are inspirations to others not just in sports but in any
facet of life.
Leadership to me means taking the herd along with
Leadership is something that comes from within.
It is a desire to command the hopeless and visionless, in order to show
them a better path. Every leader is challenged to respect the power they
have been given, to be morally and ethically responsible, and to ensure
that the decisions of today will provide a promising tomorrow for all humanity.
Many people are born with the desire to lead, but only a select group chooses
to embrace that gift. Of those, even fewer truly affect change because
of laziness and greed. We are at a crossroads for humanity where our leadership
must take a stand for what is best for the entire globe, ignoring personal
interests, enlightening us all, while creating a common goal that man kind
can unite behind.
Leadership means inspiring people to achieve and
to produce far above what they thought was possible.
At the workplace, what is a leader's most significant
accomplishment? It is not about an impressive title; it is not about a
significant salary increase; it is not about supervising more subordinates;
it is not even about the leader him- or her-self. Instead, it is about
the other people in the team; it is about motivating them to grow and succeed.
Leadership is the one which represents the power
and charm to guide the organization to the prosperity in a way
that all resources are managed, used, and balanced properly.
Leadership is very important to lead an idea or
a community because in this way we are more sure about our decisions.
As a HR in a Chinese SOE, I try to help people
dig out their potential. Leadership means to me is to help other understand
and attain what they really want.
Leadership means not only personal wealth or acquiring
power or influence, a good leader is one who can direct his/her team effectively
to achieve towards a specified goal through proper information, motivation,
and team building. Therefore it means not only personal gain but gain for
the purpose of our job for the larger goal by bringing out the best out
of every team member.
Leadership is inspiring people to achieve excellent
—Seyed Behzad Kazemi Heydari
To me, leadership is about making decisions. Leaders
must provide and foster a clear vision that others can comprehend and emulate.
We require change to progress and develop. We
respond to various challenges by acting. Sometimes this action is limited
in scope and relevance (e.g., a family managing its finances) and sometimes
it has wider implications (e.g., establishment of a university). The latter,
the institutional change, is the most potent agent of social change. This
change, while it might be initiated by individuals, requires structural
support: a combination of thought and action leadership. The two go hand
in hand. Absence of one may lead either to idealistic theorizing or to
dysfunctional institutions and individuals in control of the fate of many.
In the latter part of the previous sentence, I have brought in the element
of ethics and morals in the leadership. Leadership is for common good.
Leadership is more than a word and thus needs
more than a definition and can only be expressed and felt by leaders. Leadership
to me is initiative. It's a sense of achievement even as you begin a venture.
It's a feeling of confidence and can be groomed and never be thrust on
Leadership for me is not being afraid to go against
the tide. In a world more concerned with profits and expansion, I have
always adhered to the saying, "blessed is the leader who seeks the
best for those he serves."
Leadership is having a dream and inspiring others
to follow you to help fulfill that dream.
Leadership lies within and starts with the self. Some symptoms are a
strong sense of self discipline, a clear mind, clear conviction, sound
moral judgment, and most importantly, the ability to make sacrifices.
Once the above is achieved, the rest (intellect, passion to give, drive
and energy to make a difference, courage to stand up against any obstacles,
money, power, people, and fame) just follows.
True Leadership according to me is the way you get the work done from
Leadership is a relationship through which a person influences the other
and/or activities of others.
The process of leadership can not be separated from the activities of groups aiming at effective team-building.
It does not necessarily take place in "hierarchical structure" of an organization, but rather, leaders have "empathy and transform instead of reacting." In conclusion, all leaders can be good managers but managers cannot necessarily be good leaders. Leadership is thus an element of management.
Leadership is the ability to create an environment in which those around
you maximize their potential while working towards a common goal.
In every community there is a class
of people profoundly dangerous to the rest. I don't mean the criminals.
For them we have punitive sanctions. I mean the leaders. Invariably,
the most dangerous people seek the power. - Saul Bellow in Herzog
I think a true leader is a counterexample of the quote above.
Teaching and leading is not filling a barrel but igniting a flame. Leadership
is transforming knowledge into performance and measureable results.
Leadership is about empowering others to succeed and being able to deal successfully with the unknown.
A true leader is one who is successful in making people belonging to all rungs of the organization, radiate the same zest and passion he exudes when envisioning organizational goals and objectives.
Leadership is the innate courage and ability to define the undefined.
Leadership is the ability to inspire people to achive the goal that they thought they couldn't before.
Leadership is a position one needs to acquire in order to drive change into an archaic system; it is all about construction of something new, which is sustainable, which will lead to improvement of conditions for generations to come.
—Veera Senthil Athiban
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