By Sepeedeh Hashemian
Earlier this semester we were asked to define leadership. I quoted Kevin Kruse, writer of It’s Time to Reinvent YOU, who said that leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. Leadership has little to do with power but more with social influence. I also said that in addition to social influence, passion was the key to being a great leader. I used actress Sophia Bush as my example, Bush uses her social influence among her fans to create change.
Bush has created what Seth Godin calls a tribe. In Godin’s book Tribes: We Need you to Lead Us he defines a tribe as a “group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” A theme that appears throughout the book is that while tribes are usually localized, things have changed dramatically with the advent of the web. These digital platforms such as blogs, YouTube and social media make it easier to find and nurture a tribe even if the group is not geographically in the same place. Bush uses Twitter as her tool to connect with her tribe. But according to Godin anyone can start a tribe, it only takes a matter of stepping up.
I still think of leadership the same way, I agree with both Kruse and Godin. But this time I’m taking a look at my own personal leadership style. While there are five distinct leadership styles, my style is a combination of two. Delegative leadership is when a leader trusts people and empowers them to make their own decisions. Participative leadership is a collaborative, consensual kind of leadership that is best used when a solution isn’t clear. I can be decisive when need be, but my leadership style is more democratic and allows for there to be more than one voice. I feel that the key to leading is to allow everyone to showcase their unique skill, because while leadership is important, leaders aren’t as successful without teamwork.
Reviewed by Lila Devi Ojha