Success Insights

leadership-nature-nurtureMaybe you are at a crossroad in your career and wondering if you are cut out for leadership roles.

We all secretly wonder inside if we can be a great leader, but is it something we are inherently born with or can we be trained to become good leaders?

Just about every parent universally hopes that their children develop leadership qualities. After all, we see leaders as people who are effective in what they do, respected by others and rewarded tremendously in a variety of ways for what they can accomplish.

As young people we look up to people around us that motivate and listen to us; people that seem like “real-life” heroes and we consider them to be people leaders.

How Would You Describe a Leader?

  • A leader is a person who sees something that needs to be done, knows that they can help make it happen, and gets started.
  • A leader sees opportunity and captures it.
  • A leader sees a future that can be different and better, and helps others see that picture too.
  • A leader knows they can’t do it alone.
  • A leader is a coach.
  • A leader is an encourager.
  • A leader views change as their ally.
  • A leader is willing to take risks today for something better tomorrow.
  • A leader is a learner.
  • A leader is a communicator.
  • A leader is a coordinator.
  • A leader is a listener.
  • A leader takes a long view, letting their vision keep their daily steps on track.
  • A leader is passionate.
  • A leader motivates and inspires.
  • A leader values results.
  • A leader cares about more than results though; he/she cares about those who are following his/her lead.
  • A leader makes a difference in the lives of others.
  • A leader is all of these things and much more.

Now, can you develop these qualities or are there really people who are born to lead? So let’s examine that question a little further.

When people describe someone as a “born leader” they typically mean that the person is motivating, a good communicator, charismatic and can set strategic direction for others. While it is true that some people are blessed at birth with these natural strengths, there are great leaders with different innate characteristics as well.

More importantly, there is no single small skill set that defines the perfect leader or guarantees success. Everyone is born with a unique set of natural abilities AND we can still develop skills and styles to complement our natural abilities and gifts.

So, Who is a Leader?

You can ask most anyone this question and their answers will vary…they are right, of course and then they are only partially right.

Leaders aren’t leaders because of a job title. Leaders are leaders because they lead. So back to my original question, “Are people born leaders?” Yes they are. However, it isn’t just a chosen, elite few of us who are born leaders. We were all born to lead, in our own way.

We may not be the Chairman of the Board.
We may not be the person on the stage.
We may not lead with oratory or flair.
We may lead by compassion.
We may lead by example.
We all can lead.

We all have the ability to be remarkable leaders. Leadership isn’t about position. Leadership isn’t about power. Leadership is about potential, your potential.

You are a leader. Claim it and believe this to be true. Stake your claim and make a difference in the world around you. Your opportunities for leadership are endless and the rewards are boundless.

Knowing this, where are there opportunities for you to lead that are right in front of you? Going forward, where will you lead?

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Abby Locke is an executive resume writer and career transformation coach who helps emerging leaders, executives and professional women to craft compelling career narratives and standout brand profiles.

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