Think Leadership Ideas

5 Dimensions of Leadership

Consider Rodin’s iconic sculpture, The Thinker ....or any sculpture you might fancy.

A few written sentences or a photo would be informative - but not hold a candle to actually seeing the sculpture in all three dimensions, in an apposite setting, and knowing something of its place in the history of art.

In much the same way, leadership is best understood from a multi-dimensional point of view. And the perspective gained from understanding leadership in all five dimensions can help you be more intentional in the practice and development of leadership - whether for yourself or for others in your endeavor.

Indeed, it is the endless variety in which individuals can creatively apply their individual character, roles, and actions to endeavors that make leadership an art.

What are the 5 Dimensions of Leadership?

Character includes your personality, traits, style, talents, preferences, maturity, experience, attitudes, beliefs, thinking, knowledge - in short, who you are. Understanding leadership starts with understanding yourself and what you bring to the table.

Who you are will always be filtered to some degree by what you are - i.e., your position, function, profession, the place you have (or don’t have) in an endeavor.

Simply put, the action dimension is what you DO with other people, your interactions, your behavior.

Leadership doesn’t exist without both people and an endeavor (i.e., business, organization, project, cause, venture, enterprise - something that requires the work of more than one person). Leadership actions always take place in a context - the circumstances of an endeavor and the larger ecosystem in which the endeavor resides.

Story is the narrative, the impact, the meaning of how characters, roles, actions, and endeavors unfold over time. Savvy leaders take charge of their stories.


by Tom Stevens (c)2014
Tom Stevens helps leaders create and sustain exceptional organizations. To contact him, visit or call 919-245-1026

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