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Are You A Born Leader?

Are leaders born or are they developed? The answer is a bit of both, but mostly developed.

Perhaps there are some “good managers” you have worked with in the past. What made them good? Perhaps they were good managers because they were good at doing things right. They were efficient. But, were they also good leaders? If they were good at the leadership craft, then how did they become so?

Corporate America today is mostly competent when it comes to doing things right. However, Corporate America in recent decades has been in a drought when it comes to sound leadership. Just look at the arduous Sarbanes-Oxley requirements that corporations have to deal with today. I’m not saying that all of SOX is bad, but it does seem like over-kill in terms of time and money that we have to spend on it. Would we have it if we had not experienced the leadership melt-downs of companies like Enron, WorldCom, and others? Based on our human and political natures and history, the answer is yes, probably.

Now enough about the old news of executive “perp walks”,Enron and SOX! I’m tired of talking and hearing about them. Let’s get back to where I started: Management and leadership.

So what’s the difference? Aren’t management and leadership the same thing? Well, the lines are gray at times, but the short answer is no, they are not the same. As mentioned above, good management is doing things right. Good leadership is doing the right things. Why is this important you might ask? You may think, “Hey, I am a good manager, I get things done, I get good performance reviews and, dog-gone-it, I think my employees generally like me; and I don’t need to go learn something aside from my day-to-day OTJ learning.”

Good for you! However, let me ask you some questions. Are you getting all that you can from your employees? Do they trust you? Are you able lead them in new directions—through change? Are you ready for the next leadership challenge or level (Team Lead, Manager, Director, or Executive)? Are you preparing or even able to prepare your employees for the next leadership challenge?

So, back to my original statement, that leadership is mostly developed. Steven Covey (1990), Author and Leadership/Effectiveness Guru backs this up with his statement…“I have long advocated a natural, gradual, day-by-day, step-by-step, sequential approach to personal development.” I think he’s right.

That is all for now but stay tuned for future posts on management & leadership. Hopefully, this will become a gradual, day-by-day, step-by-step habit of personal development for you. I believe this blog can be one of your gradual steps which can help you and your teams prepare for the next leadership challenge.

Categories: leadership
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