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                Debunking the Myth: Are Leaders Born or Made?

                Michelle Sales/30 April 2024
                1 minute read time

                "Leaders are not born. They're made."

                This age-old saying resonates with many, including influential figures like Colin Powell, the first African-American Secretary of State. Powell emphasises the importance of experience in shaping effective leadership, saying, “Effective leaders are made, not born. They learn from trial and error, and from experience.”

                Leadership isn't innate; it's a skill honed through practice, exposure to diverse perspectives, and a willingness to learn and adapt. Leadership is a craft, cultivated over time through observation, understanding, and connection. It's a dynamic process, evolving alongside changes in society, technology, and culture.

                So, are leaders born or made? The truth lies somewhere in between. While some individuals may possess innate qualities conducive to leadership, true excellence emerges through deliberate effort and development. Exceptional leaders prioritise continuous learning, embrace responsibility, motivate action, adapt to change, and demonstrate empathy.

                Warren G. Bennis astutely points out, "The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born." This myth perpetuates the notion that leadership is an exclusive trait reserved for a select few.

                In reality, leadership is a skill accessible to anyone willing to invest time and effort. Ultimately, it is about growth.

                To excel as a leader, one must commit to ongoing self-improvement and skill development. Embracing qualities like accountability, resilience, and empathy fosters effective leadership in any context. Whether leading a small team or steering a multinational corporation, the journey to becoming a great leader begins with a willingness to learn and grow.

                While some may possess inherent leadership traits, true leadership is forged through experience, learning, and self-awareness. By debunking the myth of innate leadership, we empower individuals to embrace their potential and embark on a journey of continuous growth and development.

                To explore more ways to build your leadership skills, explore our website:


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                Michelle Sales/30 April 2024