On the Meaning of Leadership

As some of you might know, I’m the point person on publising content for the ILTA ’09 Conference Blog. On Fridays, we publish a “Profile in Leadership” of one of the volunteer leaders of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA). One of the primary questions we ask during the interview is, “What does leadership mean to you?” This, of course, got me thinking about how I define leadership.

To me, leadership means:

  • People want to follow you
  • You have somewhere to go
  • You can be creative and flexible in defining your goal(s) and how to get there
  • You use your followers’ diverse strengths
  • You admit that you’re wrong when you are (as I always say, “I’m perfectly happy to admit that I’m wrong–after it’s been proven to me.”)
  • You have self-confidence
  • You can be humble
  • You shine the spotlight on your followers
  • You take responsibility when things go wrong
  • You are primarily collaborative, but can be authoritative when the situation demands it
  • You evolve

There are undoubtedly many other characteristics of a leader, but these are the ones to which I aspire. These, however, are the traits that come more naturally to me or that align with my personal values. Others define leadership according to their personalities and values, and may have a vastly different idea of what leadership means.

ILTA’s “Profiles in Leadership”
fascinates me, as many of the people profiled are role models to me in my legal technology career. As I read them each week, my definition of leadership might change, thus fulfilling my last trait of leadership above–I will evolve.