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Kelly Odell

- A blog for leaders
4 May 2010

Leaders are not born they are developed!

Leadership is not something one is born with. Leadership is a skill set that more than anything is learned. Some very few of us may have been born with a natural talent that makes it easier for us to develop as leaders. Just like some very few are born with good musical talent. These few may be able to intuitively walk into a room and “take charge”. Others may sit down at a piano and the music simply flows from their fingers. The problem with these natural born talents is that there just aren’t enough of them to go around and many of them never actually bloom into leaders (or musicians).

If you want to man your management with good leaders or fill your orchestra with good musicians you will have to go for the hard working people who have devoted a great deal of time and effort to learning their trade. The majority of us “normally” gifted people have to work hard to develop our leadership skills. If we want to excel we need to study with others, practice and have a high tolerance for failure.

Most of us end up in leadership positions in our companies with no real preparation at all. After spending years at school preparing for a professional discipline, years more practicing that discipline and then one day we become leaders. We go from salesman to sales manager, from engineer to department head, and so on with little or no training. If the average managers formal training for their professional discipline can be measured in years their leadership training can be measured in days or weeks. And yet most managers feel that their leadership role is more demanding than their professional discipline.