How Do You Define Leadership?

How Do You Define Leadership?

While there’s something I love about every season, spring is, by far, my favorite. The promise of new life, cool mornings and warm afternoons, the days getting a tad bit longer. It all seems to indicate that growth is right around the corner. The same is true for SMPS.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been fortunate to participate in the annual Chapter Leadership Symposium, where incoming presidents-elect from across our 58 chapters come together to share ideas and prepare for their upcoming leadership role. The Society, along with all of our chapters, is also in the midst of the nominations and elections process to identify the individuals who will move the organization forward. And moving SMPS forward requires strong leadership.

So what does leadership mean? If you ask those around you, you’ll likely get as many answers as the number of people you ask. A quick Google search returned the following results:

  • Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. – Forbes
  • Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. – Mind Tools
  • Leadership is the accomplishment of a goal through the direction of human assistants. – Harvard Business Review

Leadership can sometimes be difficult to define. But we know it when we see it.

Conversations about leadership aren’t just happening within SMPS. We’re also having them within our firms day after day. As part of the Associates Leadership Institute at BGE, we’re taking a deep dive into what it takes to be an effective leader. Through this work, I’ve discovered a new concept I hadn’t considered before: Leadership is making things happen that wouldn’t happen otherwise. This resonates with me and inspires me to show up in a different way for my team.

How do you define leadership? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

As for SMPS and the SMPS Foundation, and my new perspective on leadership, the future certainly looks bright!


Article written by SMPS Foundation President Andrea Goodwin, FSMPS, CPSM. She can be reached at

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