Despite a recent study indicating that people with a specific DNA sequence are more likely to occupy leadership positions, the debate about whether a company leader is born or made continues unabated.
Are You A Company Leader – Really?
Absent a DNA profile to confirm that you fall among the chosen few naturally destined to be leaders, you’ll have to keep puzzling over this conundrum with little hope of any real answer.
Perhaps the better question to ask yourself is this: Do I have the natural qualities that can help make me a successful leader?
One might argue that anyone born with such qualities is ipso facto a born leader. But without carefully cultivating those qualities, would he or she just naturally gravitate into a leadership role? It’s hard to say.
Rather than losing sleep over these questions, particularly if you already find yourself on the verge of a leadership opportunity, you might want to conduct a personal inventory of your talents and abilities to see how you might stack up as a leader.
Qualities of a True Company Leader
- Honesty Is Key: Few leaders succeed in the long run unless they are honest – not just with those they’re leading but with themselves as well. For example, this whole exercise in reviewing leadership qualities is next to meaningless unless you are being honest with yourself. Claiming abilities or talents that you frankly don’t have may open a door for you, but your lack of honesty probably will slam it shut in your face before too long.
- Confidence Inspires Confidence, from a company leader: As a leader you will face a multitude of challenges. You can’t predict what lies ahead. But you’ll fare much better if you have a basic confidence in your ability to sort things through and come up with a solution. Even more important, your sense of confidence that solutions can and will be found will inspire those who work for you to become more confident themselves. Conversely, if you as a leader exhibit a lack of confidence, that same sense of self-defeatism will quickly spread to those on your team.
- Have a Vision for Your Business’s Future: If you aspire to a leadership position with your company, you should have a clear-cut vision of where the company needs to go and what steps must be taken to get it there.
The whole concept of leadership assumes that you’re directing the progress of the company and its employees along a logical pathway to a positive destination. If you have difficulty envisioning the future and how your business can make the best of its potential, you’ll probably have little success in leading.
Although you may have some impressive notions about what your business can do in the future, you’ll have little success as a leader if you can’t clearly communicate your vision to those around you.
At every step of the way, a leader is called upon to detail plans for the future, coax that extra effort out of employees who may feel overworked, and generally inspire others to work toward meaningful goals.
Passion for Your Mission
Much like confidence, passion is contagious.
If you feel a genuine passion for your business and enthusiasm about leading it to ever greater achievements, those who follow you are more likely to become passionate about their part in helping the company to achieve its goals.
Although your personal map to achieving your business’s goals may seem to be foolproof, it’s almost certain that you’ll encounter some unexpected roadblocks along the way.
As a competent leader, you must be able to think fast on your feet to come up with logical detours that will get you and the company to the same ultimate goal while avoiding the roadblock. Whether you call it innovative thinking or simply creativity, it’s a quality much to be desired in a leader.
So, in the end, the question of whether you’re a born leader or not may actually matter less than whether you have the determination to become a leader.
If you have the natural abilities and instincts that it takes to lead, you should be able to polish those skills so that you’ll feel at home in a leadership position.
About the Author: Don Amerman is a freelance author who writes extensively about corporate strategy, marketing and advertising. He also has written profiles of some of American business’s top movers and shakers, including Steve Wynn.