February 08, 2011

Leader can be made or just be born?

Although this question is nothing new, I just saw it again a couple of days ago on the BBC Discussion website, and I, personally, had doubted about a made leader until recently, or maybe yesterday, when I got a chance to think back and reflect!

When I was little, I admired people, who could speak confidently, clearly and structurally in front of a crowd. My first impression about those people was their charisma, the thing that I thought they were endowed with, born with. From my part, having never had such an experience, I just looked up to them and wondered how could they do that.

The more I experience with people around me, the more I realise, not all people who can speak confidently that, I found, good leaders. It is more about the attitude and the leading spirit that make sense to me about leadership.

My sense about the suffix “-ship” in this case is the spirit that leaders bring when they know they are leading. Moreover, 90% of communication is visual so in influencing people around, sometimes, words is not the best way. Communication skill is important but as the number says, verbal communication wouldn’t be my only choice.

I think a true leader can lead in any situation, it doesn’t matter what specific skills are needed. Leaders need to trust and rely on the whole team to nurture, what they need is to view situations, to listen, sometimes, to trust, to ask and very important, to be decisive.

When it comes to real life, it is the knowledge that I find potentially make people leaders, first charismatic impression could be faked, but knowledge is what makes a person valuable which others will respect, let them lead and trust in them. Other things can be put on precariously but not knowledge. “There is no substitution for knowledge!” (Deming)

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I definitely agree that charisma does not necesarily make a good leader.
    While it does mean that initially people listen, it is a very short term thing. A leader should strive to making sure a each member of a team works to their strengths towards a shared vision. For me, a leader should be someone who can inspire people to work together to achieve a common goal.

    08 Feb 2011, 12:59

  2. Hi all,
    I’d like to say that I go along with your conclusion. Perception of charisma can be delusory as you say. At our Uni I went for assertiveness workshops and the tutor there said that how others preceive us in many cases depends on others and their view.
    For instance when you saw this speaker and realised that everyone is listening to him/her then you started feeling some respect for him/her as well. This built his self-esteem so he was more confident and could challenge you and the crowd.
    This can work – but in a short-term. If he/she really wanted to convince the crowd to do something (i.e. on the next meeting), then people would be less amazed and knowlegde (in a bery broad understanding) would be required be shown to follow his/her ideas and plans…

    08 Feb 2011, 19:05

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