The Choice To Be A Leader: Are You The One?

Nature Vs. Nurture

There are key secrets to leadership success that set great leaders apart from mediocre leaders. People may become leaders through the guidance of mentors, lessons from seminars, along with their innate qualities developed over the years. Natural leadership qualities may even possibly exist from birth. The constant debate over nature vs. nurture in leadership continues, but it is reasonable to say that both having inherent leadership characteristics and developing leadership skills play crucial roles in successful leadership.

Supervisor, Manager and Leader

Some people in organizations use leadership, management and supervision interchangeably. The definitions of these three terms actually differ, but one person alone can do all these.

Supervision - an individual provides direction and oversees other employees. A successful supervisor is able to give training, recognition, appreciation and feedback to subordinate employees.
Management - an individual performs the affairs of a business, providing direction and ensuring that work is under control. A manager guides subordinate employees, handles problems and administers and organizes work processes. Effective management makes employees more productive than they would have been without him/her as the manager. Simply put, a manager provides everything so that employees will be able to accomplish their jobs successfully. According to Warren Bennis, Ph.D in "On Becoming A Leader", "A manager does things right, while a leader does the right thing".

A manager or supervisor may have leadership skills to some extent, but true leaders are actually rare. The right combination of skills, personality and ambition that make up true leadership is difficult to develop and exhibit.

Theories Of Leadership

Don Clark, in his leadership resource "Big Dog Leadership Pace" stated the Bernard "Bass" theory of leadership. According to this theory, there are 3 basic ways to explain how people become leaders.

In a small group of people, leadership develops because of some personality traits. This is the Trait Theory that which connote that some people naturally become leaders because of some of their personality traits.
An ordinary person may manifest extraordinary leadership qualities during a crisis or an important event as presupposed by The Great Events Theory.
People can learn leadership skills and choose to be a leader, and this is the Transformational Leadership Theory.

To be a successful leader, a person needs to make the decision. One must choose to lead, to take charge, provide vision and inspire others to success. It wasn't the same thing for Keanu Reeves as Neo in the 1999 smash hit "The Matrix", but you, you get to decide if you are the "One". The choice to be a leader is yours.

By the way, do you want to learn more about leadership in your company? If so, download your FREE ebook here: Guide to Elegant Courage Leadership

Jodi and Mike specialize in executive coaching with individuals and teams.

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