Leadership – this month has seen global changes in leadership; a new pope, a new archbishop of Canterbury and not to be left behind, we at Chennai Challenge are developing our leadership and management structure. This got me thinking about the phrase commonly heard, ‘born to be a leader.’ Some people believe that leaders are born with the necessary qualities that make them successful as leaders. Others believe leadership can be learned and developed through life. For me, I think it depends on how you see leadership.
What is leadership?
Some believe it is the ability to inspire and influence others. John Quincy Adams states; “ If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” For others leadership means being courageous and willing to speak out on an issue they are passionate about. Many define leadership as a typical intelligence / behaviour which would bring us back to believing it is a trait which we are born with but can develop and enhance through life. So what does this mean?
Anyone can be a leader!
We all have passions in our lives where our talents lie and where we can succeed. These passions lead to qualities that we may not use in other areas of our life. Therefore whilst we may not be a natural leader, we can overcome obstacles and develop a desire and an ability to lead through our inspiration.
Here at Chennai Challenge we invite people of all ages and backgrounds to join our projects and they in turn bring differing experiences and characteristics. However they all have a common desire to make a difference which in turn brings out unknown qualities which we encourage and develop whilst they are on project.
For example we endeavour to encourage team members to develop their leadership skills by;
- Taking risk and living outside their comfort zone.
- Improving their communication skills especially their ability to listen.
- With support make decisions in planning sessions and organising resources.
- Being confident in themselves and their ability.
- Being reflective, knowing their strengths and seeking support in areas they find difficult.
- Thinking positively and committing to reach their aims for the project.
- Supporting and mentoring other team members.
- Influencing others.
So what do you think? Are leaders born or made? Comment below. Or why not look at applying for our next project to develop yourself as a leader.