Were You Born to Lead?

Born-to-LeadWere you born to lead?

Perhaps a better question for leaders (current and emerging), is, if the required skills don’t come naturally for you, can they be learned?

The debate whether leaders are born or made has been waged for many years. The question centers around how various leadership qualities are acquired. The answers, while not endorsed unanimously, are based on a number of observed realities. In all my years in business and as a coach, I have yet to see anyone born with all the many skills required to lead well. They are too intricate and diverse for one personality. Most experts agree that a number of leadership attributes require experience to possess.

Dr. Ronald Riggio sums it up well in his article for Psychology Today, Leaders: Born or Made? He points out that research reveals all leaders have qualities that are both inborn and developed. In other words, it takes a certain type of person to fit the leadership mold, and that person must learn skills in addition to any that come naturally. Data reveals that leaders are split, with approximately one-third being “born” and two-thirds being “made”. What this means is that one-third rely most heavily on the skills they are born with, while two-thirds rely most heavily on the skills they develop. Which category do you fall into?

At the core, the question centers on how various leadership qualities are acquired. Are the best leadership abilities innate, or are they learned? Does it matter?

As a leader, you can benefit in a number of ways by assessing your skills. For example, begin by asking yourself a few assessment questions:

  • Which leadership skills, or traits, come naturally for you?
  • How did these play a part in your transition into leadership?
  • Which of your skills did you develop, either by experience or dedicated training?
  • How have these enhanced your effectiveness as a leader?

What do you think? Were you born to lead?  I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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