Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual, group or organization to “lead”, influence or guide other individuals, teams, or entire organizations. Often viewed as a contested term, specialist literature debates various viewpoints, contrasting Eastern and Western approaches to leadership, and also (within the West) North American versus European approaches.
U.S. academic environments define leadership as “a process of social influence in which a person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task”. Others have challenged the more traditional managerial view of leadership which believes that it is something possessed or owned by one individual due to their role or authority, and instead advocate the complex nature of leadership which is found at all levels of the institution, both within formal and informal roles.
Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and values, charisma, and intelligence, among others.
Why do our attempts to deal with the challenges of our time so other fail?
The cause of our collective failure is that we are blind to the deeper dimension of leadership and transformational change.
Why Leadership is important?
This ‘blind spot’ exists not only in our collective leadership but also in our everyday social interactions. We are blind to the source dimension from which effective leadership and social action come into being. We know a great deal about what leaders do and how they do it. But we know very little about the inner place, the source from which they operate.
Successful leadership depends on the quality of attention and intention that the leader brings to any situation.
At its core, leadership is about shaping and shifting how individuals and groups attend to, and subsequently respond to, a situation. But most leaders are unable to recognize, let alone change, the structural habits of attention used in their organizations. Learning to recognize the habits of attention in a business culture requires, among other things, a particular set of capacities and competencies.