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A Concise Collection of Leadership Definitions that Can Contribute to Student Learning of Leadership

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I see leadership as a flexible behavior, which adapts itself to the context of the situation, whilst remaining aligned with the leader’ s temperament. An example of flexible leadership is when socio-cultural, political, economic and/or another’ s personal characteristics are included in how a decision is arrived at, or a solution implemented. Finally, leadership is embodied in the skill of communication, the leader being able to empathize with others, listen to their needs and expectations, and can learn what motivates and empowers others to try, persist, achieve, and to adapt to unsuccessful outcomes and focus on solutions.

Five Other Definitions Using email, five friends were contacted to ask them who they determined was a good leader. Their responses are outlined below: R ---- suggests that the Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair as the embodiment of good leadership. With the modification of the National Health System, beginning in 1997, Blair’ s government demonstrated their ability and willingness to take risks, place the patient first in the therapeutic process, and to listen to what it is the people of the UK want from a health system.

This makes Tony Blair a ‘ trailblazer’ in regards to the radical steps taken to reform the NHS and to provide an integrated and local service that meets the health and social care needs of the community. C ----‘ s response was that David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist, is a prime example of what it takes to be an effective leader. He has high ethical standards, and advocates for the rights and dignity of not only humans, but also the fauna and flora across the globe, and of the Earth itself as a living eco-system.

Also, Dr. Suzuki continually supports the education of the community in areas of conservation, recycling, interacting with the environment, and sustainable living. Suzuki motivates others to follow his cause and to persist in seeking change from a consumerist society. A--- states that Dr. Phil is an ideal example of a leader as he seeks to help others alleviate their relational, emotional or mental distress. He appears to have a strong set of ethical values, such as respect for others, and his desire to empower others to take responsibility for their own well-being.

Dr. Phil seems to be transparent in regards to his opinions and viewpoints of a variety of issues, and this may be why people are comfortable sharing with him, taking on board his advice, and putting into practice the skills he guides them in developing.  

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