Leaders, Made or Born?
Updated: Apr 14
Are some people simply born destined for greatness, or do we all have an equal shot at glory? You decide, but here is our take on this contraversial debate.
Strong roots become stronger skills. It’s New Year’s Eve. 2020 is around the corner and this is going to be a great year for sure.
So today we’re talking about leadership. Strong roots become stronger skills. It’s New Year’s Eve. 2020 is around the corner and this is going to be a great year for sure. So today we’re talking about leadership.
So the debate going around is whether or not leaders are made or are they born. This is funny because it reminds me of an argument I had while serving in Iraq that took 4 days to come to a conclusion. The question was whether or not a banana is made by God or Made by the company that grew it. It was hilarious, but it seriously lasted 4 days. Feel free to leave us a comment to give me your thoughts on it as well. So this debate about leaders being born that way, or made with work and time reminds me of that conversation.
I will admit both sides have their points here. There certainly are some people in the world that just seem to have a certain way about them that we all gravitate toward. We want to follow them. We want to know what and how they do what they do. However, there are those of us out here that are strong leaders, but had to learn and work at it.
So which one is right? Give us your views and let us know.
Now, these things being true, my thought is that leaders are not born, they are made. I say this because we have all met those charismatic types out there, but still we see some of them can’t seem to get it together. These people, born with all the promise, ability, and talent in the world, but they keep failing to stride. If those people can exist, then it is my view that leaders cannot be born with it. They must be made. Even those of you out there who were born with this magical gift to inspire others from day one will get nowhere without practice, right? Sure, we have to practice. We have to learn and hone our skills if we want to do anything well, which we all should want if we are to take our time to do it in the first place as first penned by the Earl of Chesterfield in a letter to his son back in 1746.
“ In truth, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.” [1746 Chesterfield Letter 9 Oct. (Published 1932) III. 783]
At the Leader Tree, we talk about roots, and how growing those strong root build the skills you kneed in order to stand strong. A tree will topple over in a minute without those strong roots under them to hold up their foundation. We cannot simply wing it. We must always go in prepared. That is what the Leader Tree is all about.
Roughly 80% of Americans has expressed that they are unhappy in their job at one point or another. Maybe they feel as though they have no voice. Maybe they have great ideas for improvements but they continually get ignored. Maybe they work harder than everyone else, but continually get passed over for promotion. Whatever the reason, it usually doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the job itself but with the people that they work with. Isn’t that interesting? I think so.
Stress is the number one killer in the Country and if you are unhappy at work, which takes up the lion’s share of our time, you are feeling and dealing with stress. Stress kills. As Michael Douglas said it in the movie The American President, “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship.”
To be an American, you have to work at it; not just to win, but to survive. That’s what I’m talking about. We have to work it at. We have to try harder. We have to deal with all of the stress and the turmoil that goes along with trying to get by and get ahead in this Country. And as we do that, as we work our tail off to push ourselves further, so too is everyone else around us. How else are we to get anywhere without dealing with all of this stress?
Well, believe it or not, there are options. Stress is the number one killer out there, so we simply must find a way to reduce the levels we deal with. Our lives are quite literally on the line. But there are options. If you are undervalued and under-appreciated at work, there are things you can do to change it. There are things you can do to turn things around. You just need to grow and develop those skillsets that you are lacking. Build your roots and grow into a better leader. Then just watch as people begin to notice and start to follow your lead.
Leaders are few and far between. We pay attention to what is happening in the world around us and we seize the opportunities when we see them. Leadership is a starring role, played by the select few that are smart enough to pay attention. You won’t see a leader taking a back seat in a conversation. That just isn’t how we work. You won’t find a leader without some sort of input into what the next move should be. Leaders are molder’s and shaper’s of things. Leaders look at the problem and see only solutions to other problems along the way to solving greater ones. That is a leader. That is what it means to be a leader in the world today. But you must also be ready. Leaders also have to have some pretty thick skin in order to whether the rather large storms sweeping through the office, inevitably heading straight for them because a leader always places themselves in the path. Leaders are made, not grown. We are made, and we are made to be the best and the brightest in a Country filled with the best and brightest of all the world. It’s a tough gig, man, but if you can master those traits you will find success.
I have studied leadership for a very long time.
1. Democratic leadership – Listens and weighs the facts, but fails to act quickly
2. Demonstrative Leadership – Shows you HOW to do it, but sometimes wants to do it themselves
3. Paternal Leadership – Treats subordinates like family, but fraternizes and loses focus
4. Laissez Faire Leadership – Works independently, but don’t really care when they get behind
5. Authoritative Leadership – Very detailed with instruction, but have trouble when things don’t go as planned
6. Transactional Leadership – Reward good work, but also feel the need to punish when work is low
7. Transformational Leadership – Takes all the good points of the various styles and combine them
If you want to build your skills, build them as a transformational leader would. The end result will be an ability to lead any team toward any goal with success. If you find yourself more closely relating to another style, change it. Find someone with the qualities you lack and learn from them.
For example: If I cannot get ahead at work because my paperwork is frequently wrong due to the fact that I hate doing paperwork and just half-*ss it, but I know that Jimmy loves paperwork, all I need to do is form a relationship with Jimmy to trade up. If I can work it out with Jimmy to do my paperwork in exchange for something he lacks, maybe dealing with people, then I have improved my situation. I reduce the stress on myself. I look better to the boss because my paperwork quality improves. I forge a working relationship with Jimmy and become a leader who can get things done. Just like that, my stock goes up with the chain of command. You see.
If you find yourself undervalued at work, growing your roots and building these skills can help you change that outcome. You have to do it, or the stress you live under might eventually kill you. It isn’t worth it to allow that to happen. Next week we’re going to be discussing some things you can do to overcome some of that and to figure out how to deal with someone else above you who insists on making your life miserable. It is all possible with the right skills.
But you need to know where you are in the pecking order as well. Remember that there are 3 levels of leadership in a company. There is the Exec. Level which makes the overall vision for what they want to happen. Then they hand that down to the middle level management which takes the vision and works it into an actionable plan. Then they hand that down to the first line supervisor to put the plan into effect and get it out to the teams to implement. Where you find yourself in that order has some bearing on hw far you can climb and push.
You might find it is too difficult in your current job to push out of the situation you are in. It might be easier to start fresh in another place, but this time starting on the right foot, armed with these new skills to assist you. That is what happened to me. I got laid off and struggled to keep things together while I scrambled to another job. I decided I never wanted to give someone that kind of power over me again however. I decided I never wanted to wake up again and be told I suddenly had no job, but I still had bills to pay. I needed more control, and you might find that you want that as well. I decided to become an independent broker and took my income and my future into my own hands. I am glad I did. My stress level is much less, and no one can tell me I no longer have a job. I always have a job because I’m in charge.
Today, I actually teach others to do what I do. If you find that you need to leave your job behind and start fresh, I would encourage you to check it out and see if you might like to be an independent broker as well. I have a training school which would give you all the tools and skills you would need to be sure to be successful at it. Feel free to check it out at FactorCareers.com sometime. I even offer a free course on what a factoring broker does and how we make money that you can register for at FactorCareers.com/liveclass. But no matter what your goals are, remember leaders are made, not born, and grow those skillsets.
Thanks for checking us out here at The Leader Tree. If you liked this article and want to stay up to date with the latest and greatest when it comes out, please subscribe and like us when you have the opportunity. The article also has a companion podcast. Feel free to check it out here. – Episode 001.