An enormous amount of the work we do at The Malphurs Group is based on leadership and the need for leadership development. And there are lots of opinions about what a real leader looks like. Here’s a definition:

“The person who leads or commands a group, organization or country. A person followed by others.”

Synonyms might be:

  • Chief
  • Head
  • Conductor
  • Guide
  • Director
  • Captain

who is a leader

Is leadership a position or authority? Is leadership an ability in the sense that a leader is a leader, because he/she leads?

We all know people who are in positions of leadership, but are not leaders. And recently Dr. Malphurs has done some research into whether leaders innately possess leadership skills, or if leadership is developed. Many of the people he has interviewed have been keenly aware that they had leadership skills as early as their early to late teens. But does that mean that there are those who desire to lead, but are incapable of it? There is no doubt that God gifts people in many areas. But does that mean that a person who might not have a particular gift is incapable of displaying/developing that gift?

There is no doubt that God has raised up mighty leaders throughout time. And there is a certain profile that fits most leaders. However, there are those who lead and are behind the scenes. There are those that don’t necessarily want to be “chief” — they just want to influence and change people. Would you consider that a leader? Is a leader determined by the number of people that follow him/her?

Leadership development is key to so many parts of the ministry, work world and even our homes. It is a teachable skill. Lots of moms do exactly that as they raise their their children. Maybe we define leadership to tightly? Maybe we need to look around at those who are leading in unexpected or unnoticed ways?

What do you think about leadership?


Susan Malphurs is the Executive Vice President of the Malphurs Group, an HR, Outreach, and Leadership consultant, blogger at, wife, mother, and grandmother. | @susanmalphurs