Leaders are Made, Not Born
People are born with the skills necessary for them to be great leaders in the future. These skills are similar to people being born with musical and athletic gifts. But to say that leaders cannot be made is to believe that people cannot attain new skills and talents even after pursuing them with passion. Although some are born with natural charisma and influence, these will not bring them anywhere near the leaders they are supposed to be without training and development.
Those who are born leaders start good and get better as they explore and attend leadership training events. On the other hand, those who are not naturally born with leadership instincts may have a harder time pursuing excellence. Becoming a great leader is not impossible, but it does take hard work, discipline, and more.
There are far too many leaders who are too focused on themselves. Being self-aware means that they have to cultivate the skills that will make them become great leaders. They have to identify their strengths and weaknesses. How do they develop these strengths? How can they work on those weaknesses? The more self-aware the person is, the easier it is to coach them.
Great leaders know how to navigate changes. They also know how to adapt to uncertainties. They can make tough decisions, even in the face of exceptional challenges. The case of the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, will unveil who the true leaders are in your organization. Even those who are not naturally born leaders will step up to the plate and be decisive. For those who want to lead, this is the perfect opportunity to show others that they are reliable.
How can you know the points you can improve on if you don't listen to others? You have to be all ears to what others have to say about your leadership skills. You have to welcome feedback, may they be positive or negative. The biggest test of a true leader is the acceptance of your mistakes and failures. Find yourself a group of people who will be honest with their assessments about your leadership abilities.
In connection to being able to welcome feedback, great leaders are great listeners, too. They should listen without filtering what they hear. They shouldn't have biases. They should be welcoming of all opinions even though some of those are against their core beliefs and values.
But this is not something that comes innately with every person. You aren't born to be a great listener. Instead, you hone this skill through years of experience. You embrace that this is a value that you should learn if you want to be great at everything.
Fortunately, for many organizations, there are plenty of training programs and tools that will hone these skills. There has also been an emphasis on developing the leadership skills of everyone in an organization. While some are natural-born leaders, it is through training and development that true and great leaders are made.