Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

Leadership Has Many Definitions April 3, 2013

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 3:04 pm

We strive to continually find ways to improve our programs at Seattle Works; The Bridge is no different. In this current session, we have had added in some leadership development activities to get the group thinking more as leaders while also getting the fundamentals of board service; boards are volunteer leaders and it is important for leaders to know about themselves as one. We started last week’s session with quotes about leadership up all over the walls – participants walked the space and found the quote that resonated the most with them. They explained why they chose the quote they did and discussed how it related to their personal leadership development.

Last night, participants were introduced to the four main leadership styles: directive, participative, laissez-faire, and adaptive.

They were asked to bring in their own definitions of leadership, what it means to them personally. As part of the closing exercise of the night, the participants wrote their leadership definition on a post-it note and placed it under the leadership style they felt it fit the best with. Want to know what leadership means? Here’s 20 different definitions:


-Leadership – someone who provides strategic guidance for an organization or group — guides by instilling values and inspiring behaviors and involving everyone in the process.

-To have a clear vision and leverage each team member’s strengths to achieve the common goal.

-The willingness and interest to believe in people — to represent their hopes and capabilities, to guide them to action and inspire them toward vision.

-Learning how to follow before you lead; inspiring and motivating other to action for a common goal.

-Leadership can be found in anyone. Leaders should be sound, accountable, work from integrity, be compassionate and forgiving and inspire these qualities in others.

-Using (conciously or not) the ability* to unite a group of people to work towards a common goal. *To influence, to inspire, to intimidate, etc.

-Going the extra mile when no one is looking. Honesty, creating strong group camaraderie, being the motivator and working towards the center.

-To lead is to listen in a way that allows other to solve problems, to provide the space for people to exhibit greatness, and to serve in a way that inspires.

-Leadership in my view looks at the situation of society and tried to lead and influence without being imposing or generating any sort of anger among people.

-Unflappable. Cool under pressure..tailor message to audience.

-Acting in a way that encourages other people to do the same.


-Daily living out the responsibility that comes with knowledge, skill, wealth and influence to better the lives of others.

-The ability to develop a vision and then influence others to follow in that direction.

-Taking action to seek positive change, not attention from your peers.

-Passionate about mission and vision of your organizations and you share that passion in a way that engages, includes and empowers others.

-Compassionate, flexible, listening, has a vision, has humility, works to lift everyone.

-Finding and rallying the hearts and minds of people to achieve a common goal.

-Someone with a vision who has the ability to inspire others to make an impact or drive change for the better.

-Being willing to lead by example, but demonstrate desire to achieve.

So how did the other’s line up?

Interesting to see where this group of leaders minds go for where board leadership should fall. I think it’s a step in the right direction!

Watch out nonprofits! We’ve got some awesome leaders emerging in the community!

Do you want to find out about your leadership style, how to serve on a board and what it takes to be a volunteer leader? Find out more about The Bridge! Or are you part of an organization that is seeking new board members? Email and find out more about The Bridge Partnership.

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