The most common question in today’s organization is,

Are leaders born or bred?

Many people believe that you’re simply born with the right stuff, or you’re not. And they’re wrong, the truth is everyone is born with a particular foundation that helps them in certain ways and challenges them in other ways.

That foundation is made up of your personality traits and your IQ, on top of that foundation anyone can make the choice to build new skills as a leader and professional.

leaders born or bred

Skills are discreet, learned talents

No matter what your foundation is, you can choose to learn it.

If you choose to study and then build skills, such as self-awareness, listening, and feedback seeking, you will evolve into leadership material. The constellation of leadership skills is huge, so you wont have a problem finding a place to begin.

If your in charge of others and you want to help them develop into leaders, there are some well known types of activities that will help them build the needed skills. The most common include, moving high-potential employees into new and increasingly challenging roles.

  • Giving them temporary assignments that stretch their skill set within their current role.

  • Having them lead special-project or task-force teams dealing with issues outside of their current role.

  • Providing 360 feedback and coaching.

  • And finally, high-quality traditional classroom training.

How to develop leaders is fairly well understood, the problem is that there are still many leaders today, who believe that leaders are simply born. They believe that their job is to simply keep their eyes open for those with the right skills and abilities.

As a consequence, they give far less attention to leadership development. Not surprisingly, most of those leaders are extroverts.

The first can help

They’re the introverts in your company. Take a close look, because a few will become great leaders when you give them the chance.

The second group

Is the younger under-developed employees. Stop thinking they have it or they don’t. Instead, focus on who has say, half of what you’re looking for.

Then start using developmental activities that help them build the skills that they need. In the end an organizations leadership’s needs are as diverse as people are. Once you stop thinking about one limited type of leadership profile, you’ll begin to see many new possibilities right there on your team, ready to be developed.

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