FAQ – “Is leadership something inborn or developed? If not, how do you develop leaders?” Read the Answer and Share Your Opinion

Lee Ellis - Leadership Development and Human Performance“Is leadership something inborn or developed? If not, how do you develop leaders?”

This is a question that Lee is frequently asked. Do you agree? Any additional insight from your experience?

Lee’s Answer:

“Every person has some inborn characteristics for good leadership, but not every person is inclined to want to lead.  Some people are naturally born with the desire to be in charge and control the agenda. Still all people need to work to become better leaders. Leadership is more than taking control, and so everyone who aspires to be a good leader should continue to develop their skills.  

Leadership is developed through change, and that is difficult for everyone. Change isn’t natural, so even when we want to change/grow to be better it is often somewhat painful.  But given motivation, a person cna learn new skills. First though must come awareness. Until you know the areas you need to grow, you will not have the management information to use in your self-development. The best way to learn leadership is through the modeling of a good leader.  You are most likely to adopt the style of your leader, and if your first leader is a bad one you will learn some bad habits. If you can work for a good leader you will learn by example and that is best.

You can also learn leadership skills by experience. Trial and error is the way most people learn, but it can be expensive and painful when you make mistakes; but we all do make mistakes and learn by remembering what we did wrong and improving on the next opportunity.

We can also learn about leadership by attending workshops and reading, but it will not become part of our style until we actually practice and do something different.” 

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