What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership, personal leadership or self-leadership. As a future leader you get these words thrown at you every day. Also by us. But what do they mean exactly?

Part 1: leadership.



We asked a number of trainees and a manager what leadership means to them. Then we ran their answers by An De Bondt, Head of Traineeships at Ormit Talent.

“There were a lot of answers that I can endorse. Although there were some elements in there that I have a slightly different take on.”


Managing a team is not the same as being a leader. You often get this classic image of a manager. As the person who knows everything, the biggest expert on the team. But does that make you a good leader? Being a leader is a lot more about connecting, helping people grow and being authentic.

As a manager you help a team achieve something together. In doing so, you look for a balance between giving direction and giving ownership. You facilitate decision making. For instance by saying something like “we’re here as a team, does anyone have any suggestions?”

Care personally … sounds nice but consider this: how far should you go? It’s important to know how your people are doing, but it’s not your responsibility. It’s up to the person in question to look after him or herself and to indicate what he or she needs. This can stimulate you as a leader.

Leading by example also means having the guts to take a nose-dive or to say you don’t know. That is often hard. But that openness and honesty is incredibly strong. Your team will be much more inclined to put their neck on the line. First thing to do is to create an environment of trust though.

Correct. Put a mark on the horizon for your team to work towards. It makes actions concrete and result-oriented and works motivating. It also helps tremendously when your company has a common purpose that you can back with your team goals.

That’s a nice one. I’m glad it’s coming from a manager. It indicates he or she knows what leadership is really about. It’s not just about your own team reporting to you. But every single person you get to work with.

Managing does not mean that you have to call all the shots. Above all you make sure that your people take matters into their own hands. That they take ownership. That they speak to their personal or self leadership. Try “What if we would do this?” or “how would you handle it?”

Also read An’s blog about personal leadership.