Just because a person is assigned as the leader of a group, team, or organization, does not necessarily mean that person have leadership skills. In fact, you do not have to be a designated leader to engage in leadership. Anyone, who is a part of a team or a group, can exhibit leadership.

A leader and leadership

Before we can clarify the difference between a leader and leadership, we need to define what the two concepts cover.

A leader is an individual person

A leader is an individual person who is assigned or delegated to be the leader of a group, team, organization or similar. To be a leader, that person must be perceived by the group members as having a legitimate position of power in the group.

Leadership is influence

In contrast, leadership is a matter of action, not position. We often confuse leadership and authority. For instance, a person can be assigned as the leader of a group, but without exhibiting leadership behaviour. And wise versa, a person, who is not assigned as a leader, can still exhibit leadership behaviour.

The difference between the two

Leadership, as opposed to a leader, is not classified by a person, but rather as a process.
Leadership can be defined as the process of influencing a group, team, or organization to help reach its goal. Leadership can therefore be exercised by anyone in the group and not necessarily by the formal leader.

That is the primary difference between a leader and leadership.

What makes a great leader?

So, what makes a great leader?

Just because a person is formally assigned as a leader, does not necessarily mean that person knows how to exhibit leadership or knows how to influence and inspire his or her group.

Some leaders are more focused on managing the group rather than leading and influencing it.

A leader with leadership

Instead of focusing on managing the group, delegating tasks, and supervising whether everyone is doing their job properly, a leader should focus on inspiring and motivating the group. In other words, the leader should focus on the impact that he or she have on the group members, and how that impact can help the group reach its goal.

Leadership can involve more than one individual

It would be great if only those who knew how to exhibit leadership were placed in leader positions, but that is rarely what happens.

Luckily, you can perform leadership without a position.

Since leadership is a process of influencing the group rather than leading it, it can involve more than one person. In fact, it can involve all the members of the group or team. This means, that although you may not be a designated leader, you may still be involved in influencing and inspiring the group to meet its goals and thereby involved in the leadership process.

A program for leaders that want to make a difference

Knowing the difference between a leader and leadership and what makes a great leader, is not enough to be a successful leader. You also need to be able to apply this knowledge in practise.

Therefore, KAOSPILOT offers a three-year program, Enterprising Leadership, where you will learn to develop yourself as a leader. You will learn entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, and not least how to facilitate processes which fosters collaboration, creativity, and innovation.

You will learn how to become a successful leader who can motivate, inspire, and influence your team or group to create better results, reach goals and make a difference in the world.

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