1. someone who is responsible for or in control of a group, organization, country etc
2. a piece of writing in a newspaper in which the editor (= the person in charge of a newspaper) expresses their personal opinion on a subject
3. someone who conducts a band
Origin and usage
The word leader comes from the Old English word ‘lædan’ meaning ‘to go before as a guide’. It was first used in English in the 14th century to describe a person in charge, and then various other uses came about later. Use of the word leader in reference to an opinion article in a British newspaper is from 1837.
The word leader has many different uses. Most commonly, the word is used to describe a person who is in charge or a company that is more successful than others in its field.
A person who is a leader usually has a number of personal traits that make them well-suited to being in charge of or responsible for others. Some people are natural leaders, while others must work hard to develop a leader’s mindset.
Common characteristics of successful leaders include:
• Excellent communication skills
• Ability to make decisions
• Ability to manage others well
• Ability to empower others
“Being a good listener is absolutely critical to being a good leader; you have to listen to people who are on the front line.”
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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