Leadership: What is it?

Over three years ago I was beginning to think about marriage and what it entailed. I asked friends and family (as well as random strangers) what they believed “love” really was. I learned more from these insightful people’s answers than I intended. I heard words like “sacrifice”, “commitment”, “unconditional”, etc. It’s relatively easy to understand those words and concepts, even if I don’t particularly want to do them all the time.

However, one word that kept coming up which I was unprepared for had to do more with character than with marriage. Many counselors and husbands mentioned the word “leadership”. I’ve had a tough time with this one. So, I tried asking people to explain leadership more in depth. Most had a difficult time doing so. During this journey of discovery, however, I found leadership being characterized in so many of these people, even though they couldn’t explain what it was.

Flash forward a few years….

I believe I mentioned just over a month ago I was looking into a potential new project regarding leadership. Well, I’ve decided to start writing more about it to hopefully 1) get insight into what others think about the concept of leadership and 2) form my thoughts on the subject into more tangible documents.

Lately, I’ve been reading the following:

  1. Wisdom for a Young CEO, by Douglas Barry
  2. Leadership Meditations, Edited and selected by David Goetz
  3. Good to Great, by Jim Collins

Much of my reading preferences have to do with business, and that’s going to be my focus on this project, but it should not stop there. Leadership in business can only come out of a leader’s life. In other words, one cannot be a “professional” leader without being a leader in areas of his/her personal life as well.

So, in the next few months, please feel free to speak outright on the subject as I’m hoping to learn not just from reading, but from dialogue. I’ll keep posting my thoughts and findings, and I appreciate your help in refining and testing my opinions.

Thank you in advance.

Nate Ritter lives in the Pacific Northwest (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

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