Having come from the Corporate world I'm used to their being lots of talk about leadership and its distinction from management. However, I'm currently doing a stint in the public service and I'm getting to look at the question all over again.
My public service obsrvations can wait for another day. Today I wanted to simply point to a really great article by Cynthia Banham. As readers might recall Cynthis is a journalist who only just survived an Indonesian plane crash. I actually knew Cynthis some years ago as a journalist, very good at her craft but not yet standing out as a potential leader in the field.
Her tale is about more than leadership, but I do like her three main ideas about leadership.
1. One does not need an official title to be a leader.
2. An ethical leader must draw on a set of values and, to comprehend those values, must think and talk about them. A good leader treats others as the leader herself or himself would want to be treated; suggesting equality, egalitarianism, compassion, empathy (the Golden Rule is found in most religions).
3. The importance to good leadership of moral courage. It may manifest itself in willingness to speak the truth, even when others - more powerful people, perhaps - do not want to hear it. It is about making difficult and unpopular decisions because you know they are appropriate.
The article is well worth reading.