Can leadership be developed?

written by Cesar A
On Dec 6, 2023

Are great leaders born with leadership qualities, or can people be turned into leaders? Recent scientific studies suggest that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% learned.

So leaders are made, not born.

Ultimately, both perspectives are correct: someone can be born with natural leadership abilities, and at the same time, leadership can also be developed perfectly. Regardless of whether someone is a “born leader,” everyone has room to learn new skills and grow in leadership.

We all know people who perhaps didn’t have the natural gift of leadership but took on the responsibility of leadership and became very effective leaders.

All someone really needs to become a good leader is willpower, commitment, and passion. When these three qualities are present, everything else can be developed.

Developing Leadership There are different ways to develop leadership:

Strengthen personal skills through programs and courses specifically aimed at developing leadership skills, such as communication, conflict management, time management, and change management.

Gain experience: this can be achieved through formal leadership roles within an organization or by showing informal leadership in everyday situations.

Learn from other leaders and model yourself after those who are successful in their leadership roles. This can be accomplished by attending leadership seminars, reading books, or watching leadership videos.

How to Become a Good Leader

Here are some tips to help you on your path to solid leadership:

Communicate Clearly

Good leaders are good communicators and ensure their message is clear and understandable. Specifically, you can do the following:

Use clear and simple language and ensure the message is clear and understandable to everyone. Communicate clearly and precisely about goals and what is expected of the team.

Utilize different communication channels.

Depending on the purpose and circumstances, it can be helpful to use different communication channels. Think about whether it would be better to convey the message via email, phone, video conference, or a face-to-face conversation.

Pay attention to non-verbal communication.

Gestures, posture, and facial expressions are as important as the content of your message. Ensure your body language is consistent with the verbal message you wish to convey.

Listen to feedback and be open to constructive criticism.

This will help motivate your team and improve your communication skills.

Be consistent: ensure the message you convey is consistent with what you’ve said before and what your team expects from you. This helps build and maintain trust.

Motivate Action

Great leaders focus on their ability to inspire others to act. In a team, they keep their teammates focused on the goal and motivate them every step of the way. When frustration arises, they pull everyone together.

As a leader, you can motivate people by:

  • Clearly communicating what is expected of them and how they can contribute to the team or organization. This can help give people a sense of purpose and meaning.
  • Setting a positive example and showing enthusiasm for the work you do. This can be contagious and inspire others to do the same.
  • Rewarding people for their hard work and contributions to the team. This can encourage people to work even harder and continue performing.
  • Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process and valuing their input. This can make people feel important and that their opinion matters.
  • Helping people achieve their goals and promoting their professional development. This can encourage people to continue growing and improving.
  • Deal with Change
  • No matter what sector you are in, you will always face changes. Effective leaders are open to change and adapt well. They view change as an opportunity to grow and learn. They remain focused on their goals but are flexible enough to respond to the changing world around them.

As a leader, you can better face change by:

  • Clearly communicating what the change means for the team and how it will affect the work situation. This can help the team accept the change better.
  • Involving the team in the change process and valuing their input. This can help the team feel like they are part of the decision-making process and that their opinion counts.
  • Helping the team understand what the change means for their individual roles and how they can contribute to the process.
  • Demonstrating to the team that you have confidence in their ability to adapt to change and succeed.
  • Supporting and guiding the team through the change process. This can help the team face any challenges or obstacles they encounter.
  • Show Empathy

Most people think that great leaders are excellent public speakers and extroverted personalities. While charisma matters, it doesn’t mean that only extroverts can be strong leaders. Introverts can also be leaders because an essential aspect of leadership is how much emotional intelligence and empathy someone has.

Displaying empathy means understanding how others feel and being able to connect with them on an emotional level. Empathy is a valuable tool for conflict resolution, calming emotions, and fostering cohesion and understanding within a group.

Here are some ways to display empathy as a leader:

Listen to others attentively and without judgment. Let people know that you understand what they’re saying and how they feel.

Show people that you care about them and are there to help if they need assistance. This can help build trust and make people feel like they are part of a team.

Be open and approachable. This can help create a safe environment in which trust can flourish.

Let people know that you respect them and express gratitude for their contributions to the team. This can foster a positive and respectful work environment.

Keep Learning

The best leaders have a passion and hunger for growth and development. They are constantly seeking new information. They stay informed about what is happening in the world, look for new ways to solve problems, and read about topics outside their experience.

There are several ways leaders can continue learning:

Seek new challenges and experiences that can help you grow and learn. This could mean taking on a new task or participating in a training course or seminar.

Be open to feedback from others. Try to understand what you can learn from others and how you can grow by integrating their input.

Learn from mistakes and failures. Try to understand what you can learn from the situation and how you can avoid it happening again in the future.

Find ways to continue learning from other leaders and experts in your field. This could mean attending networking meetings, hiring a coach, participating in leadership training, or reading books and articles by other leaders.

Leadership is an ongoing process. While you may have innate leadership qualities, effective leadership still requires work. Leaders are made more than they are born.

Regardless of whether you have natural leadership qualities or not, working on your personal development can strengthen and improve your leadership.

Cesar A



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