One of the cool parts of linked in is the ability to ask thought provoking questions of people all over the world. I am regularly impressed with the quality of responses I receive.So a week ago I launched a question in Linked In where I asked: how do you develop as a leader?
Over the next few weeks I will share some of the responses I received and my thoughts on the comments and advice. I have to say I do not agree with everything shared. I do believe in seeking common ground so rather than rail on those whose opinions differ I will share where we agree. This first post is no exception. The writer Suresh Srinivasan an Information security consultant form India believes that leaders are made not born. Hmm didn’t I write about this a while ago…
The implication of the made side of the leadership argument is that the person has natural abilities that help them to be a leader. The need to develop per se is not that great, they already have it. They can hone their craft but learn it from first principles, no.
Here is what Suresh shared were the traits of great leaders. For the record he is right, these attributes can be found in most effective leaders no argument on this point.
1. Learn Decision-Making Skills. Great leaders have the ability and courage to make decisions… Rather than dwell on a wrong choice, they learn from their mistakes and move forward.
2. Motivate. Persons who lead a team or organization can usually motivate or upbuild others. In order to inspire someone else, leaders recognize the main objective or common goal, and wholeheartedly believe in a vision.
3. Learn to Listen. A good leader will come up with useful ideas. However, a great leader will also listen to his or her team and take their ideas and thoughts into consideration.
Man is he right here! Listening is absolutely critical to leadership success. I think this is one of the seven key tips I shared!
4. Recognize personal shortcomings. Great leaders make mistakes. Rather than feel that their feelings and opinions are always right, they take a candid look at their behavior and traits.
5. Improve oral communication skills. Effective leaders can express their thoughts and visions in a clear and understandable manner.
6. Be a risk taker. There are risks associated with every decision… However, a great leader knows that certain risks are worth taking
7. Be trustworthy. People want leaders who are honorable, dependable and responsible.
A great list indeed! Communicate, be trustworthy listen, take risks, know your shortcomings decide and motivate others. A great list, thank you Suresh.
I believe that leaders are born and made and that great leaders never stop learning how to be better. So maybe leaders are born as Suresh says but certainly in every person their resides the inner potential of leadership they just may never discover it for a myriad of reasons.
The role of leadership development is to help those that have not found it to do so and those that have to be even more of the leader they already are.