For centuries people have debated whether leaders are born or made. Several decades ago researchers started trying to answer the question. The debate goes on, even though we know the answer.
It turns out to be a little of both. Leaders are sort of born and they're always made. Knowing the details will help you develop effective leaders for your company.
Leaders are Always Made
Leadership can be learned by anyone with the basics. But an awful lot of leadership cannot be taught.
…leaders are made, not born, and made more by themselves than by any external means. Second that no leader sets out to be a leader per se, but rather to express himself freely and fully.” – Warren Bennis,
The truth is the most people have the potential to become effective leaders. The real issue is that leadership takes time to develop.
People need time to figure out what they’re passionate about
People need time to understand their personal vision and purpose
People need time to learn how to express who they
People need time to learn how to use their unique strengths and skills
People need time to learn how to express their purpose in their own unique way.
That's because leadership is an apprentice trade. Leaders learn about 80 percent of their craft on the job.
They learn from watching other leaders and emulating their behavior. They choose role models and seek out mentors. They ask other leaders about how to handle situations.
Leaders improve by getting feedback and using it. The best leaders seek feedback from their boss, their peers and their subordinates. Then they modify their behavior so that they get better results.
Leaders learn by trying things out and then critiquing their performance. The only failure they recognize is the failure to learn from experience.
In their book, Geeks and Geezers, Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas identify the special power of what they call "crucibles." These are trials which teach hard lessons