360 View in 360 Words: Leaders Are Born AND Made

Some months ago I read a post written by Colleen Sharen titled, Leaders Are Born, Not Made. I have continued to think through this question, particularly as I have changed my views somewhat over the years. I felt it appropriate to provide further insight into this question of leadership, based on my response to the original blog. It appears Colleen hit the right note to stimulate thought and some controversy based on the various responses from other readers that were posted in response. My belief is that leaders can be taught and developed, however there is a ‘minimum’ requirement that must exist to start with i.e. emotional intelligence, intelligence, physical, personality along with other skills, traits, behaviours and attributes. What I am interested to discover (and I continue to look for this when developing and working with newer and more experienced leaders) is to what degree is the nature versus nurture argument a reality. The follow up comments in the blog generally agreed that leaders are made and born. This is consistent with my view, however I wonder why we Read more about 360 View in 360 Words: Leaders Are Born AND Made[…]

Practicing Leadership: Skill Development and Commitment

Why is it that people are prepared to spend time practicing learning an instrument, language, sporting skill or similar but are less willing to apply lengthy practice schedules in developing leadership skills? As part of my various roles, I often facilitate leadership training in a group setting and conduct coaching and mentoring sessions with attendees. It’s not always the case, however the one-on-one session content often refers back to the leadership training itself. This is powerful in that training rarely leads to lasting change in itself – something most of us already know. Reinforcing the knowledge gained through practice and support is a key. The opportunity to reflect internally and share with your coach or mentor adds weight to the ‘stickability’ of the training concept, content and the growth in ability for the budding leader. The age-old leadership question remains – are leaders born or taught – nature or nurture? I am not seeking to answer this today, however the question relates. If you subscribe to the theory that leadership is predominantly learned, then it is natural to assume that Read more about Practicing Leadership: Skill Development and Commitment[…]

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