What is Leadership? Definition, Meaning & Importance (2022)

What is Leadership? Know About the Qualities Every Leader Must Embody to Become Successful

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things,” believed renowned management coach and author Peter F. Drucker. He used the quote to demonstrate the difference between management and leadership.

Often, it is believed that a good manager is always a good leader. However, that is not true because behaviors that make a person a good manager are often not in favor of innovation. Continue reading to know what leadership is and how it is different from management.

What is Leadership?

The action of leading a group of people or an organization.”

That’s how the Oxford Dictionary defines leadership. In simple words, leadership is about taking risks and challenging the status quo. Leaders motivate others to achieve something new and better. Interestingly, leaders do what they do to pursue innovation, not as an obligation. They measure success by looking at the team’s achievements and learning.

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In contrast, management is about delegating responsibilities and getting people to follow the rules to reduce risk and deliver predictable outcomes. A manager is responsible for completing four critical functions: planning, organizing, leading and controlling.

Unlike leaders, managers do not challenge the status quo. Instead, they strive to maintain it. They evaluate success by seeing if the team has achieved what was expected.

Leadership vs. Management: What’s the Difference?

Leaders and managers apply different approaches to achieve their goals. For example, managers seek compliance to rules and procedures, whereas leaders thrive on breaking the norm and challenging the status quo. Here’s how leadership and management are different from each other.


Leaders and managers have different visions. Leaders are visionaries, whereas managers are implementers. Leaders set goals for their teams. Managers ensure that the goal set by their superiors is achieved.

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Organizing vs. Aligning

Managers achieve their goals by delegating responsibilities among the team. They tactically distribute work among subordinates and organize available resources required to reach the goal.

Meanwhile, leaders motivate people. They concentrate on the personal development of their team besides working towards achieving organizational goals. They envision their team’s future growth and work towards achieving that.

Analyzing and Assessing

A leader analyses and assesses every situation to achieve new and better results. Whereas a manager does not analyze or evaluate, they emphasize on questions like how and when, which assists them in achieving the goals. They accept and strive to achieve the status quo.

What Do Leaders Do?

Leaders are not always people who hold higher ranks in an organization. But they are people who are known for their beliefs and work ethics. A leader is passionate about their work, and they pass on their enthusiasm to their fellow workers, enabling them to achieve their goals. If you feel you do not possess the relevant skills currently, you can consider taking up one of the leadership courses or a leadership training program.

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What Are the Different Types of Leadership?

All leaders have a unique style that sets them apart from others. Hence, these different types of leadership styles will help you decide which type of leader you want to be. Accordingly, you would be able to hone your skills with the best leadership training program. Read on.

Autocratic leadership

A leader who has complete control over his team is called an autocratic leader. They never bend their beliefs and rules for anyone. Additionally, their team has no say in the business decisions. Moreover, the team is expected to follow the path directed by the leader.

This archaic style of leadership has very few takers because it discourages change. And modern leaders are changing the definition of leadership and redefining what leadership is with their path-breaking decisions.

Laissez-Faire leadership

Laissez-Faire is derived from a French word that means “allow to do”. “The practice of non-interference in the affairs of others, especially with reference to individual conduct or freedom of action”, defines dictionary.com. In this type of leadership, team members have the freedom to perform their job according to their will. They are given the freedom to bring their perspective and intelligence in performing business functions. If you take up a leadership course, you’d get to learn about it in detail.

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Democratic leadership

In this type of leadership, team members and leaders equally contribute to actualizing business goals. Furthermore, they work together and motivate each other to achieve their personal goals too. This type of leadership leads to a positive working environment.

Bureaucratic leadership

In this type of leadership, leaders strictly adhere to organizational rules and policies. They make sure that their team members do the same. Bureaucratic leaders are often organized and self-motivated.

There is no right or wrong leadership style. Therefore, it is up to you to decide the kind of leader you wish to become.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Leader?

  1. Honesty and Integrity: Leaders value virtuousness and honesty. They have people who believe in them and their vision.
  2. Inspiration: Leaders are self-motivating, and this makes them great influencers. They are a good inspiration to their followers. They help others to understand their roles in a bigger context.
  3. Communication skills: Leaders possess great communication skills. They are transparent with their team and share failures and successes with them.
  4. Vision: Leaders are visionaries. They have a clear idea of what they want and how to achieve it. Being good communicators, leaders can share their vision with the team successfully.
  5. Never give-up spirit: Leaders challenge the status quo. Hence, they never give up easily. They also have unique ways to solve a problem.
  6. Intuitive: Leadership coach Hortense le Gentil believes that leaders should rely on intuition for making hard decisions. Especially because intuition heavily relies on a person’s existing knowledge and life learnings, which proves to be more useful in complex situations.
  7. Empathy: A leader should be an emotional and empathetic fellow because it will help them in developing a strong bond with their team. Furthermore, these qualities will help a leader in addressing the problems, complaints, and aspirations of his team members.
  8. Objective: Although empathy is an important quality a leader must imbibe, getting clouded by emotions while making an important business decision is not advisable. Hence, a good leader should be objective.
  9. Intelligence: A good leader must be intelligent enough to arrive at business solutions to difficult problems. Furthermore, a leader should be analytical and should weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. This quality can be polished with an all-inclusive leadership training program.
  10. Open-mindedness and creativity: A good leader is someone who is open to new ideas, possibilities, and perspectives. Being a good leader means understanding that there is no right way to do things. Therefore, a good leader is always ready to listen, observe, and be willing to change. They are also out-of-the-box thinkers and encourage their teams to do so. If you enroll in a leadership course, all these things will be a part of the curriculum.
  11. Patient: A good leader understands that a business strategy takes time to develop and bear results. Additionally, they also believe that ‘continuous improvement and patient’ leads to success.
  12. Flexible: Since leaders understand the concept of “continuous improvement”, they also know that being adaptable will lead them to success. Nothing goes as per plan. Hence, being flexible and intuitive helps a manager to hold his ground during complex situations.

Explore Leadership Training Programs

A good organization needs both effective managers and leaders. The key is to match the skillset with a high-quality education degree. Emeritus believes in providing high-quality and affordable courses across various domains, including leadership and management. They have collaborated with top-tier universities across the globe to offer quality education.

(Video) MEANING & Definition of leadership/importance /characteristics/ingredients of leadership

Emeritus hosts a series of online leadership courses that offer insight into the real world and help you know more about leadership. Therefore, if you wish to pursue a degree that gives you insight into becoming a good leader, enroll in an all-inclusive leadership program.

There is no right way to determine whether someone is a good manager or a leader because the roles and responsibilities of both a manager and a leader are different. However, a good leader and a manager are the fellows who learn from their mistakes. They work on themselves and motivate others to do so. Hence, always remember the most important quality for any manager or leader is self-belief.


What is the meaning and importance of leadership? ›

The action of leading a group of people or an organisation.” That's how the Oxford Dictionary defines leadership. In simple words, leadership is about taking risks and challenging the status quo. Leaders motivate others to achieve something new and better.

What leadership means answer? ›

Leadership is the act of guiding a team or individual to achieve a certain goal through direction and motivation. Leaders encourage others to take the actions they need to succeed. To be a great leader, it is necessary to learn and cultivate the skills it takes to be effective.

What is leadership definition PDF? ›

In its most basic form, leadership is defined as the art of moving others to want to struggle for shared aspirations. Therefore, a leader is an individual who possesses the ability to encourage, motivate and/or influence others.

What is the true meaning of leadership? ›

True leadership is a representation of the way you work with your team to achieve goals. A true leader makes an effort to help develop their team's skills so they can reach their full potential.

What are the 4 definitions of leadership? ›

Affiliative: Leaders create emotional bonds and harmony. Democratic: Leaders build consensus through participation. Pacesetting: Leaders expect excellence and self-direction. Coaching: Leaders develop people for the future.

What is leadership definition essay? ›

Leadership Essay Introduction: Leadership is defined by how well you lead a team into the goals and objectives set by you. Leadership is also defined by the clarity and quality of goals that you set for your followers. It is not easy being a leader. A leader is simply not someone who will please everyone on his way.

What means leadership by example? ›

What is leading by example? Leading by example is a leadership style where you model the behavior you want to see in your team members. When you lead by example, you don't just push team members towards excellence—rather, you actively demonstrate that excellence.

Why is leadership important * Your answer? ›

“With good leadership, you can create a vision and can motivate people to make it a reality,” Taillard says. “A good leader can inspire everyone in an organization to achieve their very best. Human capital is THE differentiator in this knowledge-based economy that we live in.

What are the 7 importance of leadership? ›

A leader must be able to motivate their team. A team that is easily motivated will overcome obstacles to achieve goals. A good leader will understand the different needs of each team member and knows ways to satisfy them. By creating a great environment, it will support and encourage team members.

What is the meaning and definition of leadership class 11? ›

Leadership — Leadership can be described as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of an organization or a group of which they are members.

What is leadership theory? ›

What is a Leadership Theory? A leadership theory describes how and why certain individuals become leaders. The focus is on the characteristics and behaviors that people can adopt to enhance their leadership ability. According to leaders, strong ethics and high moral standards are essential qualities of a good leader.

What is the main meaning of leader? ›

Definitions of leader. a person who rules or guides or inspires others.

What is a simple definition of a leader? ›

A leader is someone who inspires passion and motivation in followers. A leader is someone with a vision and the path to realizing it. A leader is someone who ensures their team has support and tools to achieve their goals.

What are three definitions of leadership? ›

“Leadership is about the ability to drive results, set the vision and share it, create an environment of success, and remove obstacles.” —

What are the 7 types of leadership? ›

There are seven common leadership styles in management, each of which has its place in a leader's toolkit:
  • Autocratic Leadership.
  • Pacesetting Leadership.
  • Transformational Leadership.
  • Coaching Leadership.
  • Democratic Leadership.
  • Affiliative Leadership.
  • Delegative Leadership.
16 Oct 2019

What is good leadership? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present. Dr. Jennifer Varney. Sep 12, 2022.

How many definitions of leadership are there? ›

According to Warren Bennis in Leaders (1997) “academic analysis has given us more than 850 definitions of leadership”.

Why is leadership important example? ›

Leadership is important because it inspires, motivates, and sets an example for people to accomplish positive changes in the world. Leaders establish a vision, provide a plan of action, and build strong relationships with their followers. As a result, they guide people to accomplish incredible feats together.

What is leadership in everyday life? ›

Simply put, everyday leadership is when employees take intentional and daily action to foster better connection, communication and community within their organization, while working together toward one shared vision.

What is the importance of example in leadership? ›

Leading by example helps other people see what lies ahead and act swiftly to counter any challenges along the way. If a group is led by a person with poor leadership skills, the group will experience frequent conflicts as each person wants to do things their way.

Why is leadership an important value? ›

Why are leadership values important? Leadership values are important because they help you determine how you want to achieve your goals and what type of leader you want to be with your team. Your core leadership values play an important role in guiding how you make decisions and what actions you take on a daily basis.

Why is the leader the most important? ›

Leaders help to communicate the vision and mission of the firm to employees. This provides direction and helps everybody identify the roles that best fit skills and experiences. Through clear communication, leaders encourage their subordinates to act for the actualization of objectives.

Is leadership important in our lives? ›

Leadership is an important life skill that youth should learn in their development. Learning experiences should help youth learn how to how to lead by developing qualities that will help you know how to assist a group or person in meeting their goals.

Who is a good leader? ›

Good leaders are uplifting. They praise employees for a job well done, taking time to coach and train if there are lapses in performance. In good times and bad, good leaders bring out the best in their employees by encouraging them to be their very best.

What is the key of leadership? ›

The key to leadership success is to learn to effectively delegate both the responsibility for completing assignments and the authority required to get things done. Many bosses feel that they need to control every little thing that their employees do.

What is the best definition of leadership in education? ›

Educational leadership is the process of enlisting and guiding the talents and energies of teachers, students, and parents toward achieving common educational aims. This term is often used synonymously with school leadership in the United States and has supplanted educational management in the United Kingdom.

How did leadership begin? ›

Leadership theory began as a one dimensional, in- ternal, and individualistic process in which only a leader's personality, traits, or behaviours were con- sidered. Then dyadic relationships evolved as the leader's interactions with others were considered.

Who is the father of leadership theory? ›

Remembering Warren Bennis: The Father of Leadership Development.

What is the importance of good leadership? ›

“With good leadership, you can create a vision and can motivate people to make it a reality,” Taillard says. “A good leader can inspire everyone in an organization to achieve their very best. Human capital is THE differentiator in this knowledge-based economy that we live in.

What are the 5 importance of good leadership? ›

Leadership entails; having a clear vision, the ability to communicate the vision to team members, the ability to organize in an effective and efficient manner, inspiring subordinates towards the fulfillment of the organization's goals, and balancing the conflict of interest of all subordinates and stakeholders.

What are leadership roles? ›

A leader is someone who is in charge of organizing, guiding, and managing others. They are visionaries who motivate and encourage their team to reach the desired outcome. Understanding what leadership entails is essential to your success if your duties call for you to lead others.

Why is leadership important for students? ›

It's important for students to experience leadership opportunities during their schooling, to learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining identities, and achieving tasks effectively. It also provides an opportunity to learn to identify and display effective communication and interpersonal skills.

What is leadership and examples? ›

The definition of leadership is the position of guiding a group, or the ability to lead. Leadership can exist in both formal and informal groups. For example. Formal setting (such as within a large corporation) - The leader of the group is usually someone who has been appointed to a high position of authority.

What is the most important value of a leader? ›

  1. Respect. as demonstrated by self respect and respecting others regardless of differences; treating others with dignity, empathy and compassion; and the ability to earn the respect of others.
  2. Making a Difference. ...
  3. Integrity. ...
  4. Authenticity. ...
  5. Courage. ...
  6. Service. ...
  7. Humility. ...
  8. Wisdom.

What are 3 important qualities of a leader? ›

A good leader should have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude. They should be learning agile and flex their influence while communicating and delegating effectively. See how these key leadership qualities can be learned and improved at all levels of your organization.


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