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Are Leaders Born or Made?

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneurship and Startup' started by secretentourage, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. secretentourage
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    secretentourage 120 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    After having various debates with several well known Entrepreneurs, I have decided to write a piece on how to identify great leadership, but also to get your thoughts on if your think great leaders are born or made?

    For those who are not familiar with me, you can read more here.

    Secret Entourage Founder in The Fast Lane

    I am the founder of Secret Entourage and The Third Circle Theory.


    Great leadership is becoming much harder to find in today’s business world. With more and more of today’s leaders being nothing more than selfish managers with titles, it makes it difficult to know who to trust. If you think about the differentiation between leaders and managers, the word ‘ownership’ comes to mind. It is, however, possible for great managers to also take ownership. The real difference lies in the fact that great managers take ownership of processes and results, but great leaders on the other hand take ownership of those they are leading. Here are some tips to help you identify great leadership and help you decipher who you should be paying attention to and who you should simply ignore.


    1. People First:
    Great leaders always pay attention to those following them and put them first. Simple ways to identify this at work is to look for which managers books their vacations first vs those who ask others prior to booking theirs. Despite being a small detail, most leaders are conscious that those following them need to feel appreciated and as a result do not put their own desires before the needs of their people.


    2. Strong Vision:
    Great leaders are present in the communication of their vision but also present in the execution. It is easy for people to speak a big game but certainly much harder to be present during all the hard work. Pay attention to those around you helping build the vision even though they could be sitting back.


    3. Grows Talent:
    Great leaders are not afraid to grow their followers, even if that means being overshadowed by them. When great leaders take interest in growing talent, the goal is to grow the talent to its maximum potential even if that means exceeding the teacher himself. It is often true that great leaders will push the envelope and ask you to do things that may seem impossible at first, but will stand behind you and ensure you get there.


    4. Its in the details:
    Great leaders pay attention to everything. It is in the details they find the perfection they seek. Despite their vision being broad, they understand that the little things make the biggest differences and as a result ensure others see the importance of the little things often overlooked.


    5. Mask their fears.
    Everyone is afraid, even some of today’s best leaders have fears. The difference in great leadership is the ability to mask your fears so that others following you do not get sidetracked by your insecurities. Remaining in control even when all else fails is one of the characteristics of amazing leaders. It is after all how we act in the worst of times that determines our true character and great leaders know that. They will act even more focused when everything else seems to have lost it.


    Just remember that great leaders build followers because of who they are and what they have done, not because of a title or directive. If you want to gauge if indeed you are a great leader, then ask yourself the following: if it holds true that you can only lead people, then why should anyone follow you?

    So my next question to all you fastlaners is "Are Leaders born or made?" and Why?
     
  2. DennisDuty
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    This is the big one and really one of the only points that really makes a great leader. LEADERS have the ability to LEAD. The ability to put the correct people in the correct positions, and give them tasks that grow their talent. I read a very interesting book on this very concept: Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter: Liz Wiseman, Greg Mckeown: 9780061964398: Amazon.com: Books

    Are great leaders born or made? Malcolm Gladwell made a strong case in outliers that the success of great people are greatly influenced bu their environment. I believe that leaders are made, in every case. Some of them are born into situations which give them the proper structure to thrive as a leader, and some of them are born with a higher genetic aptitude for leadership.

    However because it's action which defines the individual... Nobody, regardless of genetics, birthright, or upbringing, becomes a great leader without taking the necessary actions.
     
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  3. secretentourage
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    secretentourage 120 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Well said!
     
  4. Rickson9
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    They're born.

    If an individual wasn't born with the mental and physical traits necessary to be a leader, the environmental stimulus necessary to 'make' them would break them.
     
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  5. 1PercentStreet
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    I agree.


    However I believe that you need to go through an experience that will make or break you to determine this fact.
    The champion is someone that keeps on fighting even when they can't. NEVER GIVE UP
     
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  6. secretentourage
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    So what you are saying is that being a leader means that both your parents passed it on? Are we all born different?
     
  7. 1PercentStreet
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    I believe what Rickson9 was saying is that we might not be able to learn how to become leaders.

    I also believe that leadership skills are developed during your adolescence. Whether from struggle and poverty(my background) or successful self-made parents, the development of your leadership grows from this stage in life.
    Now for you being a born leader, you have no idea what you're truly made of til you're knocked out. Those that choose to stand back up no matter how hard it is are the ones that are leaders.

    My opinion on this doesn't matter much as I am biased against this. I grew up with a need to never live a life nor give a life to my future kids the one I grew up in.
     
  8. secretentourage
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    secretentourage 120 kph FASTLANE INSIDER Read The Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I agree with this, but when someone says BORN rather than MADE means that the person was born with a skill or an ability from birth and was not made who he is by experiences and failure. Even though, I can agree that many of us are born in better circumstances than others and as a result have the capacity earlier on in life to undertake "leadership" as a learning, I find it hard to believe that some of us are simply born with that mentality...
     
  9. 1PercentStreet
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    Born from birth, I think not. I think it's the creation of our circumstances that creates leaders.

    A leader is not only the person that can never give up, they are also the person that can take control of a situation. This is a complicated topic because there are no studies available that show we are born with these traits at birth.
    Everything we discuss here is just hearsay, until there is concrete evidence.
     
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  10. Alana
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    Throughout my life I’ve heard a lot of talk from people about what bad ass leaders they are. But I tell you, it really comes down to actions; words are cheap. A true leader (not just someone who strong holds people’s will) is born. Just as true star talent is born. There are a million people out there that can sing a pretty song, but only a few of them have that spark—that extra something—that sets them apart. Same goes for being a true leader.

    I too have read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and I can accept that outside factors often times allow opportunity and preparation to shine. Nonetheless, I still personally feel that you are who you are before age two…and you either got it or ya’ don’t.

    I’ll give an example:

    I use to be a ‘mock’ victim for paramedics, search and rescue, disaster relief, etc. My job was to act like an injured victim, to which the folks in training would ‘rescue/treat’ me. Even though the folks in the training course had the same level of training and the same preparation, I would see people emerge as the leader (and it wasn’t always the most dominate personality) and others as the followers. Regardless of the fact that every student was eager and willing to be placed in a high stress/dangerous situation, only a few would rise as true leaders.

    Another example: I also worked with dogs during search and rescue training. Dogs could care less how much money you make, what car you drive or what your title is. They can ‘sense’ if you are a pack leader or not. Being a pack leader doesn’t mean you’re the guy who rough handles them the most or yells the loudest or is the biggest dude out of the lineup. It means that you are calm, confident and assertive. If you see any president/leader who is walking his dog and his dog is ahead of him, then he is not a true leader (at least not in my book). Two of my four dogs weigh 284lbs when put together. I weigh 110lbs. But I lead them, they don’t lead me-ever.
     
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  11. wade1mil
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    Everybody born under normal circumstances is born with the ability to do anything. Everybody is born capable of being a leader or a follower; everybody is born capable of being a professional athlete or musician; everyone is born capable of being straight or gay; everybody is born capable of being a PhD or a high school dropout. It is what you do after you are born that makes you any of these.
     
  12. Rickson9
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    I'm sure parents are a conduit for passing on certain genetic traits. There is also literature to support that all evolutionary/generational branches that were responsible for eventually producing an individual still exists within the genome today.

    Unless an individual has had a hand in designing the structures of their own mind and body*, it is difficult (for me) to imagine that being a leader is solely "made" by an individual's response to environmental stimulus.

    Are we born different? There may be some statistical probability that there are 2 people who are virtually identical in all respects, but I'm not sure.

    *(also assuming that the theory that the mind and body are separate is correct)

    NB: I could "make" myself become a surgeon, sculptor, archeologist, organic chemist, or gymnast, but I'm sure that I would eventually reach a limit where another individual would not have one. Having said that, everybody can get a little better at anything. Even some horses can be taught to count, but it might be harder for them to become mathematicians.

    An excellent topic to think about nonetheless!
     
  13. Lights
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    Define leader.
    Define great.

    I think it's similar to a plant growing. The plant could be grown in the best environment, best resources, but if the strain isn't compatible to do what it is needed then it doesn't matter what it does. If people don't like peas, they won't eat peas, and will eat the junkiest and weakest corn plant instead so we had past "leaders" like Hitler, who was a leader to his people at the time he was there, even though people today know different. It all depends on what we consider a leader, and that's why there's no black and white when it comes to leaders.

    I think they are born and made, and neither can be separated, since Obama could never be a "leader" in the 1830s in the same magnitude that he is today. And society makes them.
     
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  14. secretentourage
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    I disagree, Obama could have been a greater leader then than he is now. The title does not make a or break a true leader, it only allows them to amplify their reach.
     
  15. Entourage
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    For me a leader posesses 2 key qualities:

    - The charm to make other people believe in his ideas and work for it
    - The analytical knowledge of people to put the right person in the right position

    Elon Musk, for example
     

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