Since leadership came up in a different thread, rather than hijack that thread for my own nefarious purposes, I thought that I'd start this thread.
Leadership is a fascinating study. It takes a lifetime to master.
It is one of my core beliefs that the most valuable resource is people, and leadership is, therefore, the most valuable single skill.
Given a core of a thousand random people, certainly with a core of ten thousand, and good to fair leadership, I would say that most goals are attainable. Very few people are truly dead weight. That's why folks whose sole value is the ability to hit a small ball thrown at them with a bat are so well paid. (A side street here is that is exactly why turning away folks in the face of a disaster is one of the worst possible choices, but that's another discussion. I leave it to the tin foil specialist to make that case.)
I would like to keep this thread theoretical. Examples are usually necessary, but I would like, in particular, to avoid current politics. Not only is this not the forum for it, but I'm not really interested in who you vote for. Like your choice in bed partners, both of us will be more comfortable if you keep that knowledge to yourself.
I would like to discuss leadership theory, skill, practice and principle.
It is my belief that leaders are made, not born, and it is my experience that leadership, like welding, diving, shooting or public speaking is a skill, with all of a skill's attributes. It can be learned, taught, studied, applied and ignored.
Most of the things I've learned about leadership have their basis in the military, and I've applied what I learned there over a career in construction, using leadership, authority and power over crews of various sizes to perform construction tasks of most scales. Most of my beliefs about leadership, therefore, can be traced to military teachings, and the sources for formal leadership theory and instruction are mainly military. There are, however, significant differences between military and civilian leadership, and there are further differences between professional leadership and political leadership. I don't know a lot about political leadership, and I try not to discuss politics. I avoid the political forum here for exactly that reason, and invite you to go there if you'd like to discuss politics.
To start off, I open with my favorite definition of leadership, since that's usually the first thing asked of students or taught in formal leadership training.
Leadership is the deliberate inspiration of both the act and the spirit of following.
In the future, I will add some of my favorite quotes about leadership. For now, I invite the rest of you to relate your favorite definition of leadership, and if you don't have one, I invite you to find one.