Leadership and Trust

Leadership is “the ability of an individual to influence [emphasis added], motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization.” Influence is conceptualized as a change in behavior, opinions, attitudes, goals, needs, or values of a “target” person as a consequence of an action by another “agent” person. In this sense, leadership cannot be reduced to a leader-follower relationship (i.e., the hierarchical position given by an organization). Influence is independent from an organizational position (not just downwards toward a follower), and each individual who influences someone else plays a leadership role.