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Leadership Meaning: What It Actually Means to Be a Leader 

Leadership isn’t about standing before others; it’s about lifting them up. This is why the traditional definition of leadership—the action of leading a group of people or an organization—is so limiting to the growth of leaders, teams, and companies. You don’t need to lead people or a company to be a leader. You don’t need the label of a fancy title to be a leader. So, let’s look at the true leadership meaning and how each of us possess leadership qualities.

What is Leadership?

Let’s place the traditional definition of leadership on the backburner and boil down what it actually means: 

“An individual who takes responsibility, initiative, and makes a positive change, adding value and impact in their work, relationships, or life.” 

A lot more relatable, right? 

Leadership is about how you make others feel and the memorable impact you have on them. It’s not about the transactional details of living up to a title through meetings and hitting revenue goals; it’s about the transformations you bring out for your team and clients, wanting the best for everyone in your company.  

And when we look at leadership from this angle—delivering transformations vs. transactional tick-boxes to meet a title—it not only bolsters leadership quality within a company but helps others embrace their leadership styles and identities.  

5 Qualities of Brilliant Leadership

Now that we’ve busted the confines of the traditional meaning of leadership, let’s outline the 5 qualities of brilliant leadership that we at Finka Inc. strive to create within ourselves and clients.  

1. The 1%

If you’re a person who takes initiative and responsibility, then you know this comes with trying to do everything and helping everyone. First off, thank you for your generosity; the world needs more of that. But secondly, as a leader, you need to prioritize what to work on vs. what you don’t.  

To step into your brilliant leadership, honour the 1% rule to save you stress, creativity, and productivity: understand that you can’t control everything and focus and work on the 1% that you can. For the items you can’t prioritize, ignite purpose and ownership and delegate them to your team.  

2. Make Edge Moves™

Growth is always at the edge of our comfort zones. To continuously learn and develop ourselves, we need to try new things. This is what we call Edge Moves™. Edge Moves are any habits or behaviours you take that are uncomfortable, that push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  

Trying new things: 

  • Reminds you what you’re capable of, while enhancing your strengths.  
  • Helps you understand new perspectives.  
  • Opens new opportunities.  
  • Reinforces or reinvents your purpose.  
  • Helps you understand your fears and how to best cope with them. 

Now, imagine this ripple effect. When you make Edge Moves™ and explore new areas of growth, it will encourage and inspire your team to do the same. This means you’re creating an environment where everyone can grow their skills and strengths alongside the business. 

3. Take Action

We’ve all been there: days or weeks where it’s just one obstacle after another. A deep sense of defeat and exhaustion settles in your bones and everything in you is begging you to stop.  

A brilliant leader acknowledges their feelings, but no matter the amount of stress or challenge, they find a way forward. It’s okay to take deep breaths and reflect and assess the situation, but don’t let it shut you down. Take action and find a solution no matter how difficult the challenge, and that’s how you’ll shine with brilliant leadership. 

4. Care So Much You Don't Care

Another part of being someone who takes initiative and responsibility is finding yourself in a “care spiral.” As a leader, you often care about the results of projects or client and prospect meetings, which is good… to an extent.  

Hyper-caring about the outcome can cause undue anxiety and nerves. Instead, care so much about the wellness of your employees and clients that you don’t care about the outcome. Instead, you care that the client makes the best choice for themself. Instead, you care about what the employee learned from a project execution and how they can apply their experience in the future.  

5. Bring Your Brilliant Difference™

How you lead is going to be different than others in your company and in your industry, which makes sense because we all contain different genetic makeups, skills, and strengths. Discover what makes your leadership different and how you uniquely deliver value and transformations and own it. Lean into it. Don’t shy away from what makes you different; embrace it 

Bolster Your Leadership Quality and Brilliance

See? You don’t need a title to step into a leadership identity. We all have leadership qualities within us. And now that we’ve broken down the blockade of the traditional definition, you can finally embrace how to distinctly show up as a leader. 

If you and your team would like support in building your brilliant leadership even more, explore our Your Brilliant Difference™ for Leadership Development Program. After enrolling and attending, you and your leaders will know how to lead with confidence, compassion, and strategic vision to create long-term, successful leadership journeys that inspire change and greatness in others. 

If the program aligns with your learning and development needs, click the button below to connect with Performance Advisor and Leadership Coach, Finka Jerkovic. Fill out a quick form and get started.  


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