Leadership is organizing and encouraging a group to get things done while maintaining good relations within the group. It is setting goals and accomplishing them, enlisting effective help, building coalitions, and smoothing ruffled feathers. Effective leadership gives people the sense that their lives have lasting impact on the world. Leaders are comfortable managing their activities with the activities of others in an integrated system. Leadership goes beyond the “practice” or role; it is the personal quality of vision and force of personality that consistently inspire and empower others.
At its best, leadership is knowing how to use one’s own character strength well to inspire others to be the best they can be.
The VIA Survey assesses what can be called informal leadership (“small l” leadership): taking it upon oneself to direct and guide a small group of which the leader is also a member. In contrast, “Big L” leadership is typically displayed by CEOs, politicians, and other movers and shakers. Big L leadership is harder to capture with a simple survey as it entails a complex blend of strengths and being in the right place at the right time.