It sounds like the start to a joke, but there are so many organisations looking for ‘real leaders’ that this is very pressing question.
Are leaders ‘made’ or are they ‘born’?
My belief is that neither of these are true. My belief is that leaders are unlocked from within. We have within all of us a capacity to lead but we often do not allow ourselves to take advantage of this because of the cognitive processes and filters that we have adopted throughout our lives.
Consider any great leader. They demonstrate may great properties, including compassion and empathy for others, ability to see what is really going on and to make tough decisions, have an unwavering belief in their purpose, a realistic optimism and a dedication to get things done.
All of us are capable of these things, are we not? We may need to learn particular skills so we can lead in a particular environment or workplace, but essentially the ‘pillars of leadership’ can be seen in all of us – we just have to find the right way to unlock it from within.
Consider what stops people becoming great leaders: lack of mission and purpose, greed and selfishness, fear, anger, anxiety, and other individual factors.
When I coach and work with top level leaders and talent, they all want to be great leaders. They can all make significant steps forward in their leadership by understanding that the path to this leadership starts within. Working on ourselves is the door that we must unlock to release our full leadership potential.
What is stopping you becoming a truly great leader?
What could you try to do more or less of right now to become even better?