Today our conversation begins with a discussion on one of my favorite topics, leadership. After earning a Doctorate degree in leadership, studying leadership theories, teaching courses, and writing about this topic, I have found that one of the most interesting questions asked, is whether leaders are born or made. What do you guys think? Can a person be born with natural leadership skills? Or through training and development, their leadership skills be developed? Leadership is a process where an individual influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. Through the leader’s style, the influence can be positive or negative. Leaders are parents, teachers, professors, writers, pastors, radio show hosts, podcasters, coaches, etc. As you can see the list is endless. Therefore, I believe the following truly provides the best answer to this question.
I believe that some people have a natural ability to lead. They were leading from their childhood. They start out on the leadership curve, and over time their skills improve and expand. Second, I believe that others can be developed into leaders through effective coaching and training. However, I believe that the missing key when looking at leadership requires the leader to define it for themselves. They must know what leadership means to them. They must understand their style of leadership and also recognize that leadership is a two-way relationship between the leader and the follower.
Therefore ask yourself, am I transformational, autocratic, strategic, democratic, transactional, servant, or a visionary style leader. Finally, since I believe that leadership is a process, I believe that it opens the door for more leaders. I believe the challenge for leaders and those who aspire to lead, is defining leadership for themselves and determining what type of leader they will be.
Best wishes as you begin your leadership journey today.
Dr. Regina Banks-Hall