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  • Writer's pictureM Marzuki Mohamed

Demystifying Leadership: Part 2-What is Leadership?

Updated: Jun 5, 2021

Welcome to this Part 2 on Demystifying Leadership with Neuro-Semantics, "What is Leadership."

In the previous part, we discussed how to debunk myths surrounding leadership and identified a linguistic problem that caused leadership to be shrouded in mystery.

(click here to view the video)

What is Leadership?

If we were to chunk down on the word leadership, that category which we called leadership and ask the question “What is the behaviour?” The behaviour is leading. So “What is leadership?” Leaders lead. Leadership is leading. What do leaders do? Leaders lead.

When we say that someone is leading or a leader is leading, then immediately we may think about leading from one point to another point. Leading from Point A, this Point A is where you are now, and moving to another point, Point B, where you desire to be. Point A is the Current State and Point B is the Desired State. When we talk about leading in leadership we are leading someone from where they are now to where we want them to be. When you think about leading someone from one place to another, what is the image that you have in your mind? In my case the moment I think about leading, it can be as simple as a mother duck leading baby ducklings across the road. That process of leading a group going across. It could be a kindergarten teacher leading a group of preschoolers on how to draw or on how to play on the monkey bar. That's leading; getting them from one point to another.

In this context whenever I use the term leadership, breaking down the word leadership into leading, then it gives me the impression instead of situational leadership to give the impression of functional leadership. You are performing a certain function as a leader. When you are performing the function of leading you are a leader and that is leadership. Leaders are those who are responsible for the world that involves themselves and others around them. That could be their family members. That could be the work colleagues, in their place of work. This is where we need to realise that everyone is a leader and every leader is responsible for the people they lead.

An important thing for us to realise when we talk about leading from point A to point B, bringing people, leading people to Point B, what is Point B? This is the critical thing. For many people when they talk about leading from Point A to Point B, at Point B they are just thinking about the tangible, real-world results. In an organisation, that could be Sales. That could be meeting KPI's. At school or colleges, you're talking about getting the Grades that you want. These are the tangible real-world results.

At the same time, through Neuro-Semantics, what I have also come to realise is that as we are bringing the person, leading a person, from where we are now to where we are going, it is not just about the tangible result or the real-world results. Because that process in itself is about the process of actualising the best of self. Actualising the best of what's inside of me. Through the process of leading, I'm becoming better as a person and it is not just about me. In the process of leading a person from Point A to Point B, I’m also actualising the best in others. Why? Because before, they were not able to do what they need to do to get there. To bring that person there, I'm actualising the best potentials in that person. This is a key element to me when we talk about leading or bringing a person from Point A to Point B. The key element is that why do we want to actualise the best in ourselves and others as we lead.

Why actualise the best in self and others?

I'd like you to think about human beings living on earth throughout history. Throughout history, humans have been awful and cruel to other human beings. From Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa to America, we see examples of human beings throughout time, throughout the planet enslave, murder, torture, rape other human beings. These are the worst of human behaviours. These are the behaviours of people who are not yet fully human. Where do these behaviours come from? A feature of human beings is that humans desire to be above other human beings. That is a feature. That is a normal human desire. That feature allows human beings to grow and develop. It is not so much about the feature but more about the beliefs and values that drive that feature. When that feature is driven by the belief of self-centredness, by the belief of scarcity, by the belief of wanting everything for myself instead of others, that desire becomes the desire to be above other human beings at the expense of others. When driven by those beliefs and values, the worst of human behaviours will emerge. Beware! These people will continue to be produced as humans are born and experience the growth process before they can become fully human. That is why, for me, it's so critical that in leadership we actualise the best in ourselves and others. Because the solution to these problems is that by actualising the best in ourselves and others, we produce the best of human behaviours in society; to counter and check the worst of human behaviours.

What is leadership from a Neuro-Semantics perspective?

Yes, it is about achieving real-world goals, tangible goals, and it goes beyond. Leadership is about actualising the characteristics of self-actualising people.

What are these characteristics of self-actualising people? Let's briefly go through some of them. Not all; some of them.

  • The capacity of tolerating uncertainty

  • Acceptance of self and others

  • Spontaneity and creativity

  • Need for privacy, solitude and detachment because that's when they reflect upon the events that happen in this world. In that way, they are intentional in their behaviours instead of being reactionary.

  • Capacity for deep and intense relationships

  • Genuine caring and love, for all of life

  • Altruistic - deep concern for the happiness of other human beings or other animals

  • Self-transcending - Going beyond you

  • A sense of humour and lightness about self, about others and about life.

This is why we want to help people to actualise the best of self so that the best of human behaviour can come forth and grow inside this world so that we can counter the worst of human behaviours.

Thank you for joining me in this part and in the next part, we will be discussing "The Neuro-Semantics of Actualising Self-Leadership."


The Neuro-Semantics Models mentioned in this article were developed by Dr. L. Michael Hall, Director and Co-Founder of Neuro-Semantics.

More information about Neuro-Semantics Models:


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