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The Leadership Conundrum

Is Leadership Power?

· Leadership

One of the best definitions of leadership was given by Megan McGain in her eulogy to

for her father, John McGain, at this memorial service on September 1, 2018: “Leaders are not always the ones who hold the highest position. Leaders are those who, by example, show us what we are capable of being”.

Leadership is not a synonym for power. Nor is it exclusive to those in top positions. In the widest sense of the word, leadership is the ability to take initiative and action and means using one’s influence for a cause through inclusive collaboration.

Leadership is, in fact, a state that everyone can aspire to and reach. To be an effective leader requires closing the gap between how good we are and how good we can be.

Leadership means constantly seeking best within ourselves and others and developing our talent and the talent of those we surround ourselves with. It is not about coercion. It’s not even about motivation. It is about inspiration.

The power linked to leadership is not about controlling others. True power is about the freedom to contribute your character and creativity to how your organization, your community, your government, your country, pursues its mission.

So, no, leadership is not about power. Powerful leadership is about how you connect with others to create lasting value in pursuit of the greater common good.

Astrid Ruiz Thierry, Principal, UpBoost LLC

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