On Fastcompany website, I read very interesting question - "Do attributes like height and a louder voice really translate into more power in the workplace?". Most of the respondents to this question deny this.
In my opinion, what Mary Parker Follet said about leadership is very important. She propounded a leadership style which is based on expertise - Functional Leadership. He, who knows about the job is the leader at that time. This is true. But in second thought, in addition to this, the leader must have Compassion for his followers/colleagues. And for me Compassion is one of the most critical components of Leadership.
I would strongly recommend to you to read David McCullogh's interview on leadership - 'Timeless Leadership', which appeared in Harvard Business Review magazine. Here is a part of the interview. You need to have a subscription to read the full interview. Crux of what David McCullogh says is that apart from a strong sense of history, you need to have virtues like expertise, strength of character, compassion, optimism and ability to look beyond that which is appearing on surface...
What do you think about leadership?
I am particularly interested in knowing - what is the one quality which defines the leadership of a leader around you?