Are Great Leaders Born or Is Leadership A Role You Can Learn?

15 February 2017 Peak Recruitment

Mentor leader explain graph strategy at team meeting workshop

We all have different ideas as to what makes a good leader, but I refer to how an individual effectively augments the capacity of a work environment and its employees in order to maximise company profit, a stable infrastructure and a positive brand awareness.

Looking back at the individuals I have been managed by, I can quite safely say that there were very few that stood out to me as true leaders. There is perhaps a difference between a manager and a leader. And most people can site that special someone who was more than just “the boss” but an individual who commands respect without apparently trying. That unique persona seems to manifest itself in their presence alone – they exude a charisma that brings cohesion, loyalty and quality work from a team.

Did You Miss Out in The Gene Queue?

Because these individuals are so rare we tend to think of them as being “born leaders”. We feel that we work well for these people because they have that extra something which the rest of us missed out on in the gene queue. As much as this is a perhaps a nice romantic concept to hold onto (holding onto this concept also protects us from feeling inadequate and gives us an excuse not to go that extra mile) it does beg the question – am I just not made of the stuff that makes great leaders?

If I believe leaders are born and not made, then my career certainly has an easily quantifiable level of incompetence. Obviously, this type of mindset can be highly detrimental to your future career simply because it instils thoughts of inadequacy which consequently restrict future growth.

Holding onto the concept that great leaders are “special” protects us from feeling inadequate and is an excuse for not trying for the top position

There is no doubt that we are all born with a pre-disposition or natural quality which gives us an advantage in one sphere or activity, or another. I know that as I sit here writing this article I will never make a good mathematician, no matter how many courses I take. I just don’t have a head for figures. I am a wordsmith – I like playing around with words. Numbers are a challenge and they do not motivate me.

A Passion for The Top

And maybe that is the point. Passion for a certain activity plays a large part in how well we do a task. If we enjoy doing something or have a real desire to do it then we will do it again and again and the more we do it, the better we get at it…and everyone wants to be the best. We all want to be in “pole” position. Top of the ladder. Giving orders instead of being ordered around. We are all motivated to be in the position of a leader.

We are more likely to rise to the challenge with a passion. We want to learn how to do it properly. But is motivation and passion enough without that elusive leadership gene?

Essential Factors of Leadership

It comes back to what makes a good leader and it is quite true that some people will slip into that role much easier than others. They have an affinity for dealing with the most important tasks which are the essential pre-requisites of leadership. These are what we believe are the essential factor of leadership here at Peak Recruitment:

  • The ability to motivate, instill passion and act as a role model.

  • The ability to build teams and create team cohesion

  • Excellent communication and people skills

  • The ability to delegate

  • The capacity and foresight to envision goals and pass on that passion to those who will play a part in its success.

  • Understand and affirm shared values with the team.

  • To be able to deal with conflict constructively both for the company and the individual

  • The ability to represent the group outside of the internal organisation.

  • To manage people, structures, and institutions through good planning, prioritising and good management.

Look closer at this list and you will find that the majority of these functions are relative to enhanced communication, people skills and systematic organisation within the work environment. An individual who has an affinity to good communication or organisation will find these tasks fall into place easy. But they can of course be learnt.

In our next article we will be looking at how to nurture those skills to become the first rate leader you always wanted to be.

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Peak Recruitment is the leading recruitment agency in Thailand. A human resource specialist, our pioneering methodology and commitment to deliver exemplary services has placed us first for executive recruitment in Bangkok. As a team, we offer a distinctive approach that you just won’t find anywhere else in Thailand. For contact information click here