Leadership - An Interpersonal Endeavour

Leadership by definition is not a solo activity. It requires the involvement of others—leaders only express leadership in relationship to others.  A leader’s unique role is to influence others—if a leader is not influencing, he or she is not leading. And to influence others is to interact with others, and this is expressed uniquely in a leader’s interpersonal behaviour.

The CLS360 measures leadership interpersonal behaviour.


Trying to define leadership is a challenging task. Right back to ancient times, thinkers have attempted to conceptualise the essence of leadership. It is often defined in terms of the individual leader's qualities, strengths, and attributes; the leader's roles, such as warrior, hero, or shaman; or the leader's values and personal traits, such as integrity, charisma, height, and the like. 

Despite the focus on the individual, leadership by definition is not a solo activity. It requires the involvement of others, whether those 'others' are employees, followers, the community, and even family members.  Leaders only express leadership in relationship to others. 

At the core of recent leadership thinking is the idea of influence.  A leader’s unique role is to influence others—if a leader is not influencing, he or she is not leading.  Leadership influence is demonstrated all around us as CEOs take their companies in new directions, politicians shape public policy towards a more sustainable future, or a family looks to a more prosperous and happy future.  And to influence others, in whatever role leaders find themselves, is to interact with others, and this is expressed uniquely in a leader’s interpersonal behaviour.

Arguably, leadership is interpersonal behaviour; how leaders behave towards others and how others react in turn will determine their influence in any given situation and ultimately be the measure of them as leaders.

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