Leadership Over Lunch

Over the last few weeks, I have been asked to participate in interview luncheons for candidates to the Assistant Professor in Leadership position open at the McDonough Center. Each candidate has been posed the question, “What is your definition of leadership?”

This question is interesting, and problematic to me for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is the underlying assumption that such a concept needs distilled down to basic, elemental parts; an assumption which seems to be relentlessly compulsory.

Although I seem to contradict myself, one definition attracted me more than any others. Dr. Bechtold, of the University of Hawaii (I believe), suggested that “Leadership is the process in which a leader creates a message which followers can endorse.”

Food for thought.