Before leadership can be taught, it must be learned. By observing the behaviour of leaders, academics and managers have identified the qualities that leaders have, but certain analyses of leadership issues contain conceptual flaws and reflect the biases of those who study it. Knowing what a leader is supposed to be is never a guarantee that one with the potential to be a true leader eventually becomes one for a long period of time. Some great people have exercised leadership but only for a short period of time. An important reason why most people do not become leaders and why some are able to lead for a short period of time is that some critical qualities a leader must have, such as self-awareness and humility, are difficult to practice.
Leadership can be learned, but strictly speaking it can never be taught because not everyone has the potential to be a leader. What would be more effective is to identify those with the potential to be leaders by giving them opportunities to grow in self-awareness and develop the leadership qualities. This demands effort and sacrifice.
The starting point of this paper is finding answers to the questions as to what leadership is, why it is important, and how leadership is distinguished from management. …
Management scientists quantify and tabulate it whilst philosophers and political scientists discuss it to no end. Kings and CEOs endlessly search for it to justify their rule, satisfy their enlarged egos, or to identify the head that would wear their crown after them. An extensive search of the relevant literature gives the following concise definition: leadership is a set of qualities a person has that makes others want to follow that person whether to do good or evil. A leader is someone who has followers, people who are led to reach a definite destination or attain a specific set of objectives. Leaders are judged by their followers.
All other definitions of leadership are mere exercises in semantics: complex-sounding, confusing, and ludicrous intellectual posturing by management charlatans paid by the hour who receive outrageous fees to further complicate, instead of simplifying, what is inherently complex. The multifaceted nature of leadership gives these fad-driven management gurus an edge over their audiences, and in their efforts to maximise their profitable gains in teaching others what they themselves neither have nor cannot do, they write books, deliver lectures, and engage in speaking tours mouthing kilometric definitions and mind-numbing clich-driven sound bites.
Why is leadership a complex thing A look at some universally acknowledged leaders at one time or the other gives a partial answer. Take, for example, Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister during the War. With his inspiring words, he helped save the kingdom from annihilation and later on helped win the War, but he lost the first post-War elections as the people tired of his leadership. On the other side was