The age old question is, “Are leaders made or born?” Of course, the basic answer is usually, “Both.” I’ve answered it that way for years but now, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m beginning to think that we are confusing charisma (magnetism) with leadership.
Charisma is born in, natural, and, frankly. not especially developable. Leadership is a choice and fully developable. The confusion comes from the fact that many charismatic people end up in leadership because…they are so…well, charismatic. But, upon further examination, they may not be particularly good or effective leaders. Being elected to office doesn’t make anyone a leader. Making a positive difference does.
Leadership is a choice. If we understand leadership as a people-serving instead of a self-serving function, then this is a choice that person can make. Additionally, there are skills and knowledge that can be learned, practiced, improved in order to increase overall impact.
In our last installment, we addressed the shortage of real leaders in our world. Now, if we have a choice, if we are willing to make the choice, then we can change that!