Leadership Is A Trained And Attained Skill

Although there might be a rare exception that I have never had the pleasure to meet in my more than three decades of training individuals in leadership-related skills, I believe that there is no such thing as a “born leader.” Although some individuals have personalities, ethics, morals and character traits that might potentially make them better leaders, no individual is born with all the necessities of leadership.
Leaders must be able to balance self-confidence with humility. If an individual lacks self-confidence, he most likely will find difficulty in “pulling the trigger” on making necessary decisions. On the other hand, a leader must have reasonably good “people skills” so as not to “turn people off,” and must be able to subordinate his ego to the needs of the organization.
Many individuals in leadership positions seem to act as if they deserve certain “perks” because of the amount of time, effort and commitment they devote to the organization. My decades of consulting on leadership have clearly demonstrated that if someone is expecting to be thanked for his efforts that he will generally be soundly disappointed. Organizational members neither observe the hard work, nor do most of the care how much effort it is, and while they appreciate the effort, they expect their leaders to give one hundred percent effort.
Effective leaders must learn how to evaluate themselves objectively, and honestly know their own strengths and weaknesses. They must also know how to evaluate their co-officers, and be able to distinguish those that “walk the walk” from those that merely “talk the talk.” They must also be able to evaluate members, and recognize those that might be potential future leaders.
Leaders must understand the importance of, and how to create and effectively use an action plan. They must also understand the necessities of having a “vision,” and how that vision should be interrelated with the organization’s mission. They must understand what a mission statement is, and how it should be used.
They must also understand the concept of evolving an organization. This means building upon the strengths of the organization, maintaining its mission, while evolving and tweaking it, as necessary, for evolving times and changes.
Leaders must understand the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, and how issues should be viewed as obstacles or challenges, rather than as problems. They should be detail-oriented, but learn how to train trusted others do perform certain tasks.
Volunteer leaders must learn how to utilize paid staff, and how to evaluate them. They must neither expect too much or too little from them, but must demand that they do what is expected of them.
There are so many essentials of leadership. That is why effective leadership training is ongoing, and goes into considerable detail on multiple related and relevant topics. Leadership requires strength- a type of inner strength that may be one of the few characteristics that might not easily be taught. That characteristic of inner strength is a sign I always look for when identifying potential future leaders.

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