What is leadership?

Today I attended a session with one of top leaders in our company. He gave an example of what his understanding is of leadership: when people are rowing a boat, there is one leader and the rest are followers. The more synchronization there is, the better team performance there will be. Fast may not the best – synchronized is best.
Change the calm waters environment to a turbulent one: river rafting. Here, the same model cannot work. There is still a leader and a team, but there is no time to communicate. Hence, each one must do best in his own situation and the leader – having provided some cues initially – must entrust the team. This is how project teams should be given turbulent times of today.

A true leader first makes the team capable of taking the right decisions, and then empowers them to make decisions and bear consequences – even if the decisions taken by the team are different from what he would have taken himself.