What is leadership? That question is increasingly on the minds of people who want to know how things get done, who does them and why people succeed or fail.
It's an elusive quality people seem to recognize when they see it. I like this definition as a starting point: Leaders are people who can initiate and respond to change.
If change is a constant, then an adaptability to change, and the fortitude and courage to make change, is a necessary trait of a leader. A leader also has followers, people who believe in the vision and the change-making ability of the person they follow.
There are several lines of academic inquiry into leadership. The study of leadership differs over whether a good leader is also a good manager, or whether the nature of leadership is one of power or servitude.
Whatever your definition of a leader, the field has attracted a lot of attention in recent years. Leadership development is particularly important to business schools. Non-profit leadership is also studied. If leadership can also be defined as success, then the ideaFestival has touched on the issue with the many successful people who spoke at the 2004 ideaFestival.
How should leadership be addressed in 2006?