I know this will irritate some, but I have given a lot of thought to the age-old question: are leaders born or made?
I come out on the side that leaders are made and not necessarily born. While I do believe genetics and early development reveal characteristics of leaders, I have come to the realization that upbringing, environment, and experiences are largely responsible for the transformation into leaders.
In business or politics (make no mistake politics is a business), there is not a plethora of “natural” leaders. I find most individuals want to be coached, mentored, or instructed on how to behave. I think it is just human nature – in my opinion.
However, within the hive of worker bees, I do believe a leader, ortwo, usually take shape and emerge.
This leadership unveiling is usually caused by a particular circumstance or event. Put enough drama or uncertainty in a room and soon someone breaks out the leadership tools. Whether it is fear of failure, ambition for a promotion, jealousy to show-up a coworker in a team setting, hating to lose, seeking the approval of a superior – something will naturally trigger the rising of a leader(think back to middle school English and reading Lord of the Flies).
Questions of the day: Do you consider yourself a leader? If so, have you always felt that way? Who or what do you attribute that to?
Exercise of the day: If you have garnered that leadership gene from someone in your life (take a moment to admit that to yourself), reach out and let them know.
As for me, I put my learned traits at the feet of the following: