The Extraordinary Leader, Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders, The Complexity Of Defining And Describing Leadership Or Why The Mystery Exists, Part 3


“16. Language has an impact.  Is the lack of adequate language partly responsible for the mystery that surrounds leadership?  Inuit, the indigenous people of northern Canada, have some 23 words to describe snow.  They can describe its hardness, texture, moisture content, color, age, and crystalline structure with their richer vocabulary.  We, on the other hand, have roughly three words at best, as we talk about powder, slush and corn snow.  It is possible that if our vocabulary were more precise and robust, we could better succeed in describing what leadership is, and how to more effectively develop it?  Given our current condition, leadership is still nearly impossible to define or describe in detail or specificity.”

Personal comments:

I would guess that everyone who reads this blog has at one time or another wondered why we do not have richer vocabulary to discuss important, or even not-so-important issues.  Some can see leadership when it is present,  and write about it,  and talk about it,  but I’m not able to define it generally, accurately or simply.  This blog has attempted to convey characteristics of leadership with real-life examples, and I hope I have succeeded in in some measure.

Remember that leadership is not always identified by a title.  There are many examples of leadership behavior, not always with good intent, by some who seemed to have a “sixth sense” about what was required.  It’s not easy to determine how that happens, but these folks were influenced by some thing or someone.  Too many, on the other side of the equation, wander through life without getting beyond “me, myself and I”.  They miss the “world” of successful people interaction, communication, with the resulting benefits.  Changing their focus would have opened their hearts and minds to the greater need; helping others succeed, cope, or survive.  Life has been difficult for some, and a word, look, or a helping hand may have been what was needed to give them a feeling of hope.  This is leadership at its best.

Next: The Extraordinary Leader

Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders


Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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