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Are You a Born Leader?
Many people still believe that good leaders are born, not made. But that belief (or you might want to call it the nature vs. nurture debate) is not strictly true. Good leaders can be developed. One only has to look at the potential in each human being and work with what you have. You might be surprised how many people can be developed into leaders, regardless of what field of endeavor they enter.
First, what motivates a person to become a leader? Well, you have to have the drive to lead other people, of course. This could mean that you want to serve the common man. Or, on the opposite side of the coin, you might just want the power that leadership confers on individuals who become leaders. You have to look inside your heart and determine just why you would like to lead people. The answers differ from person to person since every person has a unique personality and circumstances.
But just because you have a drive to lead does not mean you will automatically become a leader. As you go through your daily life, you will find yourself hindered by factors beyond your control. There might be critics who will attempt to tear you down or derail your efforts. You might find that the process of becoming a leader takes too long and that you don’t have the patience to wait. If you do become a leader, you will have to learn to delegate some responsibilities to your subordinates – some people have a problem with that, thinking that being a leader means doing everything yourself. Or perhaps you find that the organization you belong to has policies which discourage fledgling leaders. The list just goes on and on.
Now that you have identified just what would hinder you from becoming a leader, try to weigh these against the factors that motivate you to become a leader. Which is stronger? Bear in mind that among the factors that motivate you to become a leader should be passion – passion for one’s work, passion to succeed. In the same way some people will want to tear you down, you must have the passion to move up and succeed. This passion helps you identify your goals. Passion also supports your actions towards the goals. You just need to harness this kind of energy properly.
Next, you have to determine if you have the right information at hand to make the right decisions as a leader. You will gather information about your environment or circumstances, and you can get data regarding the work you will be doing. But be careful or you will suffer from information overload. The trick is to get just enough information that will help you in decision-making.
You must be careful as well when it comes to handling power. Power is a heady drug which, when used carelessly, can make your subordinates hate you. You might find yourself torn down from your pedestal. On the other hand, when power is used wisely, you can gain the respect and obedience of underlings – it becomes a win-win situation: your subordinates help you by doing the work that is required and you help them by making crucial decisions that tell them what to do.
So whether or not you were born a leader, you must realize that a leader can be made rather than just being born that way.