Are Leaders Born or Made?

When it comes to leadership, one of the most popular questions is: Are leaders born or made? If you turn to research, it will suggest that leaders are mostly “made” as opposed to born. In fact, studies using identical twins estimate that leadership is about one-third born (due to genetic factors) and two-thirds made. So, from a scientific standpoint, it’s safe to assume that you can indeed be made a leader.

With this in mind, it’s critically important to develop and nourish the characteristics and skills that make you a good leader. Indeed, if you truly believe that leaders are born, then a leader wouldn’t need much in terms of skill-building or development. But, of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Leaders, especially those in the healthcare profession, must remain committed to developing their knowledge and skills in the field.

So, what exactly should you focus on? Aside from having a passion and desire to lead, there are several ways you can develop your own leadership skills. Take note of the following:

  • Work on improving your communication ability, especially your ability to listen to others
  • Be willing to take risks
  • Network and look for ways to expand your contacts
  • Focus on working and living with integrity and respect for others
  • Encourage those around you to find their own leadership qualities
  • Be confident in yourself and your abilities
  • Know your strengths and be ready to ask for support in areas where you are lacking
  • Create a vision and share your vision to inspire others
  • Think positively and commit to reaching your goals

Remember, if you truly want to lead, there isn’t much stopping you. Don’t let others trick you into believing that you must be “born” a leader. Work on the essential skills required for effective leadership, and you will be well on your way!

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

—John F. Kennedy