Although not specifically defined in the new standards, the term has several widely accepted meanings, including:
- The ability to create a clear vision;
- The ability to share the vision with others and motivate them to follow it;
- The ability to provide the organizational structure, tools, and information that allow others to succeed in pursuing the vision and to address the risks and conflicts that arise during the pursuit of that vision.
Leadership is crucial because management systems have evolved to play an increasingly important role in corporate structures.
In the beginning, management systems were used to control goals and to focus on minimizing product defects and generally controlling non-compliant products.
Now, a good management system has a much more comprehensive approach to the organization and key stakeholders.
Over time, management systems have begun to address product manufacturing processes, prevention being as important as product inspection.