Effective leadership takes an incredible amount of dedication and self searching, the term “Natural Born Leader” is a term that I personally disagree with. Leadership is a daily source of education that is honed with time, being subjected to problems of all sorts and dealing with a myriad of people.
Let’s take baseball players as an example, every major leaguer has talent, there are the exceptionally talented ones also. They typically work harder than most to bring out the most in their talent, if they relied on talent alone they would be an average player over time. The same is true with leadership, daily you will learn from experiences and other contacts which will make you in the long term a better leader if you embrace it.
Characters, integrity, passion, setting the example are all key ingredients to becoming a successful leader but the main ingredient is you the leader. If you ignore past experiences you have learned from other leaders along with past problem solving experiences then you are limiting yourself and your growth. I have worked with countless managers/leaders and have learned from each and every one of them. The things that I thought were bad I put in my memory bank and frequently thought to myself, “Whenever I am in a leadership position I will or will not treat people like that”.
The golden key to being a successful leader is knowing your team and each individuals strengths and weakness. This will allow you put the right person on the right assignment and dramatically increasing the expectation of positive results.
So what makes one person a better leader than others? In my opinion it is entirely up to the individual, the tools are there it is how you decide to utilize them. Every person with average intelligence can be an effective and respected leader with hard work. The lazy ones, well they just don’t get it.