3 February 2011

Do leaders need to lead?

Never mind whether leaders are born or made - the important thing for me is whether they want to do something about it.

If someone is finding it difficult to be in a leadership or management position, then they have two options: to become better at it or to step down. Whether they have a talent for it or not seems less important than whether they really, really, deep down, WANT to do it.

I'm not talking about wanting to be in a management or leadership position where you earn such and such and it helps you take a step up the career ladder. No, I mean: do you want to be in a position of responsibility?

In a position where you are accountable to others because they trust your judgment?
In a place where delegating also means giving up control?
In a unique position from which you can facilitate collaboration?

We can see signs of leadership everywhere around us - in our groups of friends, our clubs and societies, during projects and collaborations... Leadership emerges from a need to get things done and, hopefully, from the need to get things done through collaboration.

The best teams have formal leaders who understand that they sometimes have to take a step back themselves, in order for hidden talents to emerge and quiet voices to be heard.

So, for me the question is not whether leaders are born or made. The question is whether they want to or need to or both.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add to this need to want to influence - have a look at on of the Harvard Business review blogs "If you don't want to influence others, you can't lead".