For years, researchers and scholars alike have debated whether leadership is an inherited trait, or based on learnable skills. While there is an argument to be made for both sides, there really isn’t a clear winner. In fact, we think that both genetics and training play an important role in determining great leadership.
Think about leadership on a bell curve. At the top of the bell curve are individuals who posses great leadership skills from the very beginning. As they go along, they get even better. At the bottom of the bell curve are the people who try, but despite their best efforts they just aren’t made to be very good leaders. Then there’s the vast middle of the curve, where the majority of individuals reside. This is where the potential for “made” leaders exists.
Keeping the bell curve in mind, if a majority of individuals fall in the middle, then there is absolutely room to develop strong leadership skills. So how do you take the next step? How can you become a great leader?
Your first step is self-awareness. Simply put, great leadership cannot be achieved without it. Becoming truly self-aware means you understand how you present yourself to others, and what motivates and drives you to act.
Consider these questions:
- Do you have an accurate sense of your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and as a leader?
- How do you impact those around you?
- What are you most passionate about?
- What guides your decision-making?
- Do your actions and promises line up?
A truly self-aware person is able to recognize their challenges, and take the appropriate steps to improve. But again, and we can’t stress this enough: this is a challenging step. Often times, having an objective third-party is helpful with this type of self-analysis. At Jeanne Reaves Consulting, we specialize in leadership coaching. We help executives to accurately pinpoint their strengths, understand their weaknesses and identify areas for improvement.
Not sure what leadership coaching is all about? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Check out this helpful post. We’d also recommend this post on how to be a successful leader, and 10 tips for everyday leaders from author James Kerr.
The good news is this: great leadership skills can be cultivated and developed. There are training programs and a plethora of helpful resources to help you grow and succeed. If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us. We’d love to help!