Are you born a leader, or are you made into a leader? I believe it is a little bit of both. In my time working in sales and business management, I have seen my share of strong leaders. I have also seen those that were in a leadership position when they were more of a follower than a leader. Are Leaders Born or Made?
Leaders are Born with the “it” factor.
Strong leaders have the “it” factor. They get “it”. They know what it takes to win, and they know how to lead their staff through the peaks and valleys of the economic climate. Leaders also have the energy and wherewithal, to make tough decisions that are the right ones for the business.
What is the “it” factor?
What does the “it” factor include? While the list can be rather lengthy, below is a small sample of what the “it” factor includes:
- Initiative – Taking action: not sitting back and watching things happen.
- Listening Skills –Taking the time to hear the comments and concerns of employees. They need to feel welcome and valued.
- Motivation Skills – Motivating employees will lead to better morale and productivity.
- Managing Conflict – Leaders often need strong conflict resolution skills in order to handle disagreements. Leaders need to have the ability to resolve conflicts in a fair and decisive way.
Leaders are Made. How you can mold into a Leader?
How does one become a leader? With each employer I have worked with, each had extensive training programs in place to help current leaders maintain their leadership skills. My current employer offers various ways to develop the leadership skills set. The following is a sample of what my employer offers:
- Shadowing – Shadowing allows for candidates to work with a current leader in order to follow them, watch them and identify traits that are missing.
- Classes/Training – There are programs available to help determine candidate weaknesses and improve on them. Attending training is one way to help stay on top of the developing skillset. Training can also be provided due to the ever-changing technology in the field.
- Knowing when to follow – Leaders need to recognize the value of working as a team. Teaming may call for appropriate times for a leader to take on the role of a follower. While the team still presents their decisions to the leader, leaders need to recognize what they can learn from the insight provided by team members. Team members may share a new design, a way to cut the budget or away for a factory to run more efficiently.
Self-aware – Self Reflection
Becoming a great leader requires you to be very self-aware. You are able to acknowledge what strengths you have as a leader while also finding what areas you need to work on. Attempting to be a great leader at work and in life can turn into a long journey. There are always new skills to learn in your personal and professional development. These new skills will allow you to put your new and improved leadership into practice!
What do you think? Are leaders born or made? What traits make up a strong leader? Do you have those traits? What traits of your’s need improvement? Comment here, or follow on Twitter and Facebook and let us know!!