Exploring the Leadership Role - Setting Direction That Others Will Follow to Achieve Results

The leadership role is about influencing people through aspirational, inspirational, and motivational communications. The role is equally applicable to top-level executives, team leaders within functions, or any individual in between.


The leadership role provides direction through values, mission, vision and teamwork to transform innovative ideas into value.

The role enables either formal or informal agreements between leaders and followers to be reached, including employees, customers, suppliers, and investors. If the vision is compelling enough, members of all constituencies will follow, including regulators and competitors.

When agreements are negotiated, there is a clearer understanding of direction and what is both required and expected. Both parties may have to make trade-offs to reach a negotiated agreement. Agreements affect culture and morale. Culture results from knowledge and skills learned from leaders and role models that determine shared values, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs. Culture influences future behaviors. Morale is the willingness to maintain beliefs in values, mission, and vision.

The leadership role is performed at two levels:

  • Macro level - transformational: enacting change in the environment within which the enterprise operates, or within the enterprise itself, or both
  • Micro level - transactional: the relationship between a leader and a follower in task accomplishment

Transformational leaders influence results from followers, as individuals and in teams, by changing their aspirations, wants and needs, objectives and goals, and by affirming shared values, mission, vision and learning.

Transactional leaders are either power-centric or empowering. Power-centric leaders use a command and control oriented approach, where results are delivered to order with rewards, or else punishments are inflicted. By contrast, empowering leaders develop successors through a process of migrating from a directive style to a supportive style based upon the commitment and competence of followers. An enterprise cannot grow unless it develops future leaders.

The leadership role is performed within the context of planning and policy development, deployment, and performance measurement activities. It comprises self-motivation, aspirational leadership, inspirational leadership, and establishing an environment for motivating others.

Self-motivation - developing enthusiasm for an innovative idea and/or commitment to values:

  • Positive attitude
  • Ambition
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Self assessment

Aspirational leadership - establishing the mindset for communications:

  • Values and guiding principles
  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Value proposition

Inspirational leadership - communicating to and building relationships with followers:

  • Attracting and acquiring
  • Expanding
  • Maintaining
  • Retaining
  • Focusing

Establishing an environment for motivating others:

  • Influencing the motion to action
  • Enabling followers to motivate themselves

The consequence of effective leadership is that followers achieve the intended results through their own self-motivation.

The leadership role sets direction that others will follow to achieve results in conjunction with the entrepreneurial and managerial roles. The leadership role is an enterpriship (entrepreneurship, leadership, and management) competency.

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