Are You Committed To Being A Better Leader?
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Free Leadership Article
Are leaders born or made? This is a very common question but in my mind very unhelpful. Underpinning the answer that leaders are born that way raise a couple of unhelpful thoughts.
Firstly that leadership is a natural “god given” attribute that requires no particular attention or focus. Secondly that a person not “born” with leadership attributes cannot become a better leader.
All great leaders have had a strong ability to grow learn and develop. Indeed John F Kennedy has said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” A commitment to lifelong learning and self-development is itself a critical competency for effective leadership. Further and absence of a learning focus is often cited as a derailler of executives – that is a competency which, if absent, will inevitably lead to leadership failure.
The fact of the matter is that leadership skills are not innate. They can be acquired, and honed. Great leaders continue to focus on their development while potential great leaders spend time and focus on becoming better.
A review of many of history’s great leaders shows a pattern of mistakes, learning changing and growing.
Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” A focus on continuous improvement is a key attribute of great leadership. What better place to start than your own development as a leader or executive?
Lynn Humphrey is a Partner at Stepshift, helping New Zealand business leaders to get the best from themselves and the people they lead through executive coaching, leadership development and business consulting.
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