Are Leaders Born or Made?January 7, 2016 . .
Since the first edition of my book “It’s Already Inside” came out in 2012 and my two subsequent books since then, each time I am interviewed by a journalist from Radio, TV or Print media, I am always asked the question: “Are leaders born or made?” When I give my answer, the debate inevitably ensues.
I believe that everything we need to be a great leader is already inside of us. It just takes nurturing from the right environment, lessons, coaches, mentors and experiences to bring it out of us.
This is the way I see it… When we were born, we did not come out of the womb knowing how to talk, eat with utensils or any other life skill necessary to function. Our communication and inaction skills were limited to our ability to cry, giggle or smile. In time though, we learned to absorb and utilize the nurturing that was provided to us.
Just as we are not born as Physicians, Engineers or Architects. We were not born leaders.
The problem though, is that most people do not realize that the ‘Art of Leadership’ is something that has to be nurtured. To some it comes fast and easy, and to others due to their own insecurities, lack of confidence or lack of emotional intelligence struggle with it. Where the problem begins is with people that think leadership is a half-day workshop. Or those that subscribe to the old paradigm of leadership… a leader that needs to:
- Be an Extrovert – One of the best leaders I had the privilege to study under was an extreme introvert, soft-spoken and thoughtful. His specialty was asking BIG questions that challenged me and everyone else around us to think BIGGER.
- Possess a larger than life personality – I have been around my share of what I call ‘Peacock’ leaders. They are the ones that expect everyone to notice them when they walk into a room. They usually possess a huge overabundance of charisma. Unless they are comfortable in their own skin and can inspire others to lead, their methods usually only deliver short-term results.
- Be the smartest, fastest, strongest – That may have worked in grade school for being picked as the captain of the football team, but it doesn’t work in real life. Great leaders quite simply are great listeners (always seeking to understand first) and then connect emotionally with people. We all have a purpose for ourselves (even if you think you do not). Leaders are able to connect individual purpose with the big picture and get their team members to energetically engage without fear
- Have the best skills. Competence is most of the time best left to the team you are leading. Your job is to remove roadblocks that prevent your team from being great at what they do.
So, as we enter the New Year, and plan out our goals – why not add “improve our leadership” to the list. It’s clearly something that can be of great benefit, and that everyone has inside – it just needs a it of work.
It’s actually possibly the ONLY item that needs to be on the list if you want to have a successful 2016.
And if you’re looking for a great resources to help you to nurture your inner leader and get you and your team reaching new heights in 2016 – then look no further. Here’s a GREAT leadership how to manual that will get you to where you need to be.
Robert Murray is a Business Strategy Consultant, partner at Incrementa Consulting Inc., #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.