Leaders are not born, they are made! The good news is that you have the potential to become a great leader.
There are events that appear to make the leader or, perhaps, the person assumes the role at the right time. Such a time was 9/11/2001. Were Mayor Giuliani and President Bush leaders who appeared at just the right time? Or were they shaped and created by circumstances long before 9/11 and had the resolve do what needed to be done?
What about George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower? They were both considered to be great leaders because they got the results that were needed from the role they filled. Patton charged at lightning speed across the battle field. On the other hand Eisenhower was a great consensus builder who melded a very difficult military and political alliance of cantankerous personalities.
At the moment of birth do we know whether one baby is a leader and one is not? The answer to that question is no. All babies have the same reactions and make the same sounds. From the moment of birth these babies are then conditioned by their parents and events around them and their interactions with others. It is safe to say that leaders have developed and have been shaped by events that presented the opportunity.
If we can identify two people with the same characteristics so easily, why does one succeed and the other fall short in leadership? Part of the answer comes in understanding ourselves and having the self-awareness to learn and grow. Self-awareness, ironically, requires input from others. If you are serious about improving your own leadership here is an exercise that you should do.
First, I want you to jot down leadership traits, and indicate whether you think they are a strength or weakness for you. Next, take this challenge that will help you grow. Go to your colleagues, co-workers, those you supervise, and those who manage you. If you are a solo entrepreneur you can also get feedback from your clients and vendors. Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. This is known as 360 feedback.
Another reason why people aren’t better leaders comes down having the courage to take action and go for the RESULTS. Certainly there are risks involved but the leader rises to the occasion and takes ACTION.
How does that relate to you in your job or your business? In your business leadership, as in your life, you can change and improve your traits but the real challenge and commitment comes from having the discipline and perseverance to change your old habits and behaviors.
People who assume the leadership role have many different even contradictory traits. However, they leverage the traits they have to achieve the required RESULT. That is the bottom line when talking about great leadership.
Leaders are NOT born they are made. You can be a great leader in your business and in your life.
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