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What is Leadership?


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Quality Glossary Definition: Leadership

Leadership is defined as the act of directing and managing a project, group of people, or an organization.

Leadership is not solely the responsibility of those who reside at the higher levels of the hierarchy. Instead, it’s an activity in which anyone who’s interested in the success of an organization can take part. Promoting employee involvement in leadership is an effective way to help build up a company’s success and morale.

There are two main types of leadership:

Operational Leadership

  • Ensuring that organizational processes are effectively carried out on a day-to-day basis.
  • Monitoring performance
  • Addressing constraints
  • Ensuring that employees understand what is to be done and are provided with the authority, knowledge and skills to do it

Strategic Leadership

  • Define the overall vision and mission of an organization
  • Develop strategies, systems and structures to achieve the vision and mission
  • Create both technical and social systems that are effectively integrated, and which address the needs of both customers and employees

Leadership Resources

The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook, Fourth Edition ASQ Quality Press

Leadership Is Personal (PDF) ASQ’s Human Development & Leadership Division proposes that a leader should possess competence in six roles: navigator, communicator, mentor, learner, builder and motivator.

Guiding Corporate Behavior: A Leadership Obligation, Not a Choice (PDF) Corporate leaders are recognizing the need to connect employees with their organizations’ visions and values, but traditional “hand off” and “hands-off” methods of the past no longer suffice.

Leading for Quality: The Implications of Situational Leadership (PDF) The Hersey–Blanchard situational leadership model holds that when leaders are flexible and aware of critical situational factors, such as the ability and willingness of members to change, they will adopt an appropriate leadership style.

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