Great Leaders are Not Born

“Leaders are born, not made” is a popular adage, reflecting the “Great Man” theory of leadership, suggesting that great leaders are born with certain traits that predispose them to effective leadership. Business books and magazines often focus on dramatic examples of heroic acts or moments of truth, of an against-the-odds gamble, or a diving catch that saves the day. This can make for dramatic writing, but I don’t buy it.
 
I believe that for most people it’s well within our grasp to learn how to lead and manage more effectively. My management approach is to avoid the need for diving catches or other heroics. Instead create a culture of accountability, built on mutual trust and respect, where highly trained, skilled staff are supported and encouraged to speak up when they see or hear a problem developing.
 
Empowering others to go forward with confidence and to succeed with less and less guidance from you is how your organization will accomplish what no one can do alone. Together you can build something you’re all proud of.
  • Test your own thinking: are leaders born, or made?
  • What has made you an effective leader within your organization?
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