Most of us have heard the famous question, ‘are leaders made or born’? When we really reflect on that question, we need to ask ourselves some important other relevant questions, such as ‘are great engineers or outstanding chefs made or born’?
The same concept applies, when you really think about it.
The redeeming qualities that effective leaders share do come from within. But that doesn’t mean that they are born leaders. Generally speaking, what we find inspiring about any given leader are those qualities that are oftentimes innate. It’s those qualities and traits that great leaders capitalize on.
For instance, a leader who is able to motivate his staff amazingly well might be naturally charismatic. Another leader who isn’t shy about getting in there and getting his hands dirty when extra help is needed probably possesses some inherent qualities, too. Qualities and traits that are born of a natural desire to help others – even if it means he needs to work over the grill when the fast food chain he owns is short staffed.
But back to the great engineer and outstanding chef analogy~
What makes a great engineer is probably an inherent and natural knack for advanced math. What likely makes an outstanding chef is an intrinsic flair for discovering which ingredients work best and under the most ideal conditions.
However, that’s just the first step. What each has in common is the fact that these individuals have discovered their gift. But they didn’t just step up to the plate with the ability to ‘wow’ all of us. Every one of them has spent countless hours and energy perfecting their skill.
Where Does Such Inspirational Leadership Come From?
Those outstanding and inspirational leaders we look up to are also life-long learners. They realize the need for continuous improvement and professional development. More so, they want continuous improvement opportunities.
They are well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They are in a constant mode of building upon those strengths. The key to achieving exceptional leadership is through continuous learning. It’s done by capitalizing on inherent traits and strengthening those skills.
In our contemporary landscape, we all have room for growth. Our top leaders know that and they participate in learning opportunities, mentoring, coaching, peer advisory boards -multiple sources of opportunities for growth. Seldom will you find an outstanding leader who dismisses the notion that to sustain his inspirational leadership status – he can do it alone.
Most inspiring and influential leaders know that they can make a difference. They care enough to put forth the time and energy to do something with their inherent traits and talents.
The great news is that we all possess inherent traits that make us unique. Take advantage of those and capitalize on them. Discover how far an investment in yourself will take you.