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Is leadership a learned skill or an innate ability?

Is leadership a learned skill or an innate ability?

Are leaders born or become? Do leaders create time, or does time make leaders?

These questions are more than philosophical. When it comes to leadership, it is important to know whether the people at the top of the organizational chart are effective leaders, how to support them and what they can do to support themselves. It’s not hyperbole to say leadership can create or destroy an organization.

So are leaders born or become? The answer is both dissatisfied and clear: both. Let’s discuss a few key ideas that play an important role in learning and developing effective leadership skills.

Is there a genetic predisposition to leadership?

When it comes to human behavior, we may have genetic predispositions that are not detected if we are not in the right environment. A 2007 study of female twins suggested that “32% of differences in employment management roles were related to heredity”. In other words, there was a genetic component, but that was far from the whole story. The researchers concluded that past life events and work experiences also have an impact on leadership.

У 2019 studymeanwhile, researchers have concluded that to be an effective leader, you must be willing to lead, with traits such as self-confidence as well as learning.

Who can learn to be a leader?

Can you teach leadership? Yes – but not everyone is ready to accept training and use it to become a leader. Should leaders be at the top of the organizational chart? Can people at the center or bottom, without the authority to create a strategy or influence the allocation of resources, still be leaders? Absolutely.

У 1961 Harvard Business ReviewThe late President of the College W. C. Prentiss reminded us that “leadership is the achievement of a goal through the guidance of human helpers” – “human and social” achievement, “resulting from his understanding of his colleagues and the relationship of their individual goals to the target group.”

There’s nothing about planning and budgets, and “direction assistants” doesn’t necessarily mean organizational authority. Simply put, leadership is the ability to achieve goals through others, that is strategic proposals for professional development have the potential to turn any employee into a powerful leader.

What if someone doesn’t want to be a leader?

A A document from the University of Toronto researchers in 2017 cites a previous study that showed that engineers have an aversion to the word “leadership,” but “redesigning as professionally relevant forms of influence from the data revealed three different orientations toward leadership: technical prowess, collaborative optimization, and organizational innovation.”

As another example, in many non-profit organizations, with their mission-oriented, democratic culture and structurally flat organizational schemes, many employees feel a similar reluctance to openly take on the mantle of leadership – and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter if someone wants to be a recognized leader while he or she is on a mission with others – and you can certainly teach that skill.

What is the impact of early leadership experience?

In hereditary leadership scenarios, for example, with European royalty, at birth it was expected that the next leader would be the Crown Prince. His leadership was considered natural; literally, he was born a leader.

The democratization of early leadership training has taken place with the rise of industrialization. Perhaps the best examples emerge from the explosions of youth organizations of the late 1800s and early 1900s such as the Scouting, YMCA, sports leagues and other clubs and groups. British military leader Robert SS Baden-Powell firmly believed that people could learn leadership at an early age. In 1907, he tested his concepts with 21 boys on the island of Brownsea in England, which led to the publication of the first part of Scouting for Boys in 1908 and gave rise to the World Scout Movement.

Baden-Powell was a pioneer in several ways. First, he dispelled the myth that leadership was a “natural” skill unique only to the affluent upper class. Perhaps more importantly, he showed that hands-on, hands-on learning can teach leadership skills.

By the 1940s, universities began to view leadership as a discipline for research and teaching. In the late 1980s, the Association of Teachers of Leadership emerged, described as “A professional association that focuses on leadership education, links theory to practice, disseminates research, and provides professional development opportunities for all those involved in leadership education (formally and informally).”

And what about people who as a child were not in a team or in the military, or did not learn leadership in college? With the right training and resources, everyone can learn to be a leader.

How can leaders build self-confidence?

Self-confidence can be a random path to leadership. After all, as human beings, we reach out to others who seem to have self-confidence.

Develop self-confidence Becoming a good leader often requires training and experience in topics that employees need to understand to manage. Once someone becomes a master of the subject, others will flock to him or her for guidance. In a study of engineers and leadership discussed by University of Toronto researchers, one of the three qualities of people who avoided the title of “leader” but were actively considered as leaders was technical prowess. It makes sense; if you have the technical skill over the process, others will probably be able to see your self-confidence that will make you a leader among your peers.

Over the years, researchers have pointed to communication, responsibility, commitment, passion, delegation, empowerment, and other traits as “attributes of a successful leader”. The good news is that anyone can cultivate these attributes, whether he is an extrovert or an introvert, logical or emotional, a realist or a dreamer.

Leadership is not an ethereal quality that individuals have. One can identify leadership and then teach and apply it. It can help if there is some genetic predisposition – but the most important thing is to learn!

Editor’s note: don’t miss ours Infographics on the current development of leadershipwho shares thoughts from leaders like this one.

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