The debate over whether leadership skills are innate or learned has likely been debated since the days of the caveman. Is it possible that some people are born with the gift of effective leadership skills while the rest of us are relegated to be full-time followers? Or is it possible that we all can be great leaders?
While it’s debatable whether everyone has the ability to become the next Winston Churchill or Mahatma Gandhi, there’s little doubt that we are all capable of becoming effective leaders. Even a moderate increase in your leadership skills can have a positive impact on your personal and professional life.
Many experts hold fast to the belief that leaders are created. It’s simply a matter of learning the necessary skills and gaining the necessary experience. Fortunately, there’s never been a better time to enhance your leadership skills.
There’s a plethora of information available, and it’s often free. In addition, researchers are hard at work to gain a better understanding of what makes great leaders tick. Business and psychology programs are constantly researching leadership topics.
Many of the famous leaders throughout history learned their leadership skills on the fly. They were passionate about a worthy cause and developed the ability to lead and inspire others along the way. They weren’t all born to be historical figures.
Most importantly, you can greatly strengthen your leadership skills, regardless of your current level of expertise. Being shy or introverted won’t prevent you from becoming an effective leader. In fact, many of history’s greatest leaders were introverts! We’ll even list a few later.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela
What Leaders Provide to Others.
Being a skilled leader doesn’t just benefit you and your employer. Leaders provide many benefits to their team members. Leadership can be a burden, but when you realize how much it contributes to others, you’ll be even more motivated to lead. You’ll also be even more aware of how valuable you are to your company.
Leaders benefit their teams in a variety of ways:
- Leaders take the blame. When things go wrong, leaders take the blame for the team. Leaders might get most of the credit when things go well, but they also receive the brunt of the blame the rest of the time.
- Leaders inspire. An effective leader can inspire others to believe they’re capable of great things. Leaders also inspire others to believe in the project and to expect a positive outcome. Inspired employees are happier and more productive.
- Leaders create a vision and clarity. When we don’t know what is going on, a leader can create a vision and provide direction. A team is lost without a leader.
- Leaders are supportive. A good leader provides the support, encouragement and resources needed to be at our best.
- Leaders instill confidence. Leaders are good at stretching team members to be bigger and better than they’ve demonstrated in the past. Making someone feel confident in their abilities is a gift that an effective leader provides.
- Leaders make the big decisions. Not everyone on a team is capable of making big decisions. Leaders remove the burden of making the hard choices.
Understand how much your leadership skills provide to your employer and your team. Effective leaders are highly prized within any organization. When your leadership responsibilities feel burdensome, remember just how important you are.
What leadership challenges have you faced lately? I’d love to help you out. Let’s connect.