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My Definition of Leadership

Paul B. Thornton What impact do you make on people? Are you a leader? I played hockey in high school and college. I was always curious as to why some teams overachieved. I concluded it was the coaching. That was my first interest in coaching and leadership. While at Ohio University I took Dr. Paul […]

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Paul B. Thornton

What impact do you make on people?

Are you a leader?

I played hockey in high school and college. I was always curious as to why some teams overachieved. I concluded it was the coaching. That was my first interest in coaching and leadership.

While at Ohio University I took Dr. Paul Hersey’s super-great course, Managing Organizational Behavior. His lectures stimulated my interest to learn more about leadership.

Over the past 25 years, I have interviewed hundreds of leaders and read many articles and books on leadership. 

I have discovered there are many theories, models, and definitions of leadership. My view of what leaders do is pretty simple.  

“Leaders influence and inspire people to make positive changes to achieve their best performance.”

Easy to say; hard to do.

They influence and inspire us with their words and actions.   

  • Words—Their words help us see bigger possibilities. Their messages are affirming and encouraging. They energize us to pursue bigger goals and bigger ideals.   
  • Actions—They are decisive and firm in their actions. They speak up and take action in difficult situations. Their actions set a positive example and inspire us to do more.    

Do your words and actions inspire people to make positive changes?  

Leaders pursue change at all levels of human endeavor, including:

  • Individuals
  • Teams
  • Organizations
  • Communities
  • Countries
  • Globally

Summary

Leaders come in all ages, shapes, sizes, and genders. 

However, they have one thing in common—

They influence and inspire us to make positive changes that help us achieve our best performance.    

Paul B. Thornton is an author, speaker, and adjunct professor at Springfield College. Three of his core principles and practices are add-value, continuous improvement, and simplify the complex. His two most recent books are Precise Leaders Get Results and Leadership-Finding Your Sweet Spot (Authors Place Press). He has produced 28 short YouTube videos on various management and leadership topics.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

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