Born to Lead:
The Makings of a Great Leader

Born-to-Lead-Makings-of-Great-LeaderDo you have the makings of a great leader?

The greatest leaders are those who have both innate leadership abilities, and developed abilities. A number of key leadership skills are learned or developed through experience, training or coaching. This is promising for many leaders who want to improve beyond their natural abilities and current skill set. When I discuss this with my coaching clients, we discuss four core aspects:

Problem solving: Gathering information and logically processing viable solutions is a skill primarily learned through experience. Quite often, a crisis-oriented environment sharpens this skill the fastest.

People skills: Some relational skills can be natural, such as an interest in people. But many leaders struggle with emotional intelligence: reading people, active listening and showing empathy. Until leaders learn and master these relational skills, more fail than succeed.

Business communication: The art of communicating in writing and formal speaking is typically a learned skill. Communication is complex, and many aspects need to be considered to properly convey ideas or requests to effectively influence people.

Self-assessment: This is perhaps the most difficult, yet vital, achievement a leader can have and it rarely comes naturally. It is normally developed through specific coaching or training. The most effective leaders learn how to become self-aware and identify strengths and weaknesses. They know their passions, motives and values. They understand, and maintain, trustworthiness. Effective leaders sharpen themselves with these evaluations.

Assessing Your Abilities

A leader’s prospects for success depend heavily on how well they make use of their natural talents and the skills they’ve developed. Well-rounded leaders who make effective use of both inborn and learned skills have the greatest success. I have seen very few leaders who can rely on only inborn or developed skills and successfully lead others.

Assessing your skills can help you focus on your strengths, as well as the areas you may want to improve. An objective evaluation of your skills can either enhance your candidacy for a leadership role, or further fuel the leadership role in which you’re currently engaged.

With a colleague or executive coach, devise a self-development plan. Get feedback from trusted co-leaders: seek honest impressions on areas where you excel, and where you can improve.

If it is asking whether someone will emerge as a leader among a group of peers, then those types of leaders are born. But if it is asking whether someone will perform effectively in a leadership position, then that is dependent on the context, the type of job, and the person’s ability to develop leadership skills. ~ Connson Chou Locke

As a leader, your prospects for success depend heavily on how well you make use of your natural talents and the skills you’ve developed. Take the time to learn as many leadership skills as you can.

So, were you born to lead? What leadership abilities have you developed or refined? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.


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