Leadership is often a word thrown around–perhaps a bit carelessly–and used in nebulous ways to describe some sort of ineffable quality that we’re all seeking in our professional lives.

Although a fairly young discipline, the definition of leadership has evolved quite a bit, moving from the idea of an individual who is born gifted with the abilities to inspire followers, to leadership as a process–and a collaborative one at that.

Bethany Godsoe, Associate Vice President of the NYU Leadership Initiative, tells the impressive story (2:09) of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, who, in the face of seemingly insurmountable cash and resources, achieved real legislative wins on the issue of mountaintop removal. For that group, leadership was about building relationships with integrity and walking together in times of uncertainty–a resonant lesson for our increasingly distributed and globalized lives.

Bethany Godsoe is the Associate Vice President for Student Leadership Initiatives at New York University. She came to this role after serving for six years as the Executive Director at NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action. She specializes in the design and delivery of leadership development programs and is a highly skilled facilitator with deep expertise in action learning and collaborative action research methodologies. ... View Profile