What Is Leadership? – Henry and Richard Blackaby

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What is leadership?“Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in their book, Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, report that they discovered over 850 different definitions of leadership.  No wonder today’s leaders are unsure how they measure up.  There are too many standards to meet!  Each definition offered seeks to contribute a new insight to the understanding of leadership, and many of them do.  The following is a small sampling of the diversity of helpful definitions that have been offered:

  • “Leadership is the process of persuasion or example by which an individual (or leadership team) induces a group to pursue objectives held by a leader or shared by the leader and his or her followers. John W Garnder, On Leadership.
  • “Leadership over human beings is exercised when persons with certain motives and purpose mobilize, in competition or conflict with others, institutional, political, psychological, and other resources so as to arouse, engage, and satisfy the motives of followers.” James MacGregor Burns, Leadership.
  • “Leadership is influence, the ability of one person to influence others.” Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership.
  • “A Christian leader is someone who is called by God to lead; leads with and through Christlike character; and demonstrates the functional competencies that permit effective leadership to take place.” George Barna, Leaders on Leadership.
  • “The central task of leadership is influencing God’s people toward God’s purposes.” Robert Clinton, The Making of a Leader. 6

Each of these definitions helps bring focus upon the roles of leaders.” (Spiritual Leadership, Henry and Richard Balckaby, pages 16-17)

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