Are great leaders born or made?

The world today needs more leaders.

I firmly believe that. I believe that leaders are the difference between success and failure; between a life filled with hope and one filled with sad compromise.

But does that mean that we are doomed to wait for leaders to appear on their own, shaped by mysterious forces and genes? I don’t think so. A recent article on Forbes confirmed something that I have always thought: that anyone can be a great leader.

Here’s a quote from the article:

Leadership genes aside, the real takeaway is that the brain qualities that make a great leader can now be mapped—and therefore they can be recreated.

The brain is like a muscle. It can be exercised and trained to achieve specific, desired outcomes. For leaders who want to excel and for those who aspire to a position of leadership the formula appears to be deceptively simple:

Analytical skills are important:
Leaders are quick to cut through distracting details to the real issues that matter.

Prioritising is critical:
This is a skill you simply can’t develop early enough. From small steps you get the mental heuristics that develop into leadership skills.

Get training:
Leadership courses are really mental exercises. They help you develop the kind of mental skills you need to lead effectively.

Work hard!
Sounds simplistic, but being a great leader is a skill that can be learned—provided you’re willing to work at it hard enough. Analyze the actions and approaches of leaders you admire, read books on the subject, and experiment in your style. See what works for you and do more of the same.

We once thought that tomorrow’s leaders were gems waiting to be discovered. Now we know they can be manufactured—as long as the ‘raw material’ is a willing participant.

Just like anyone can learn to play the piano, to paint, or to make smart investments, I believe that every person has the potential to inspire others to greatness. All they need is the right motivation and the right training.

So keep working at being a great leader: we need more of them. We need more people like you.



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