Are Good Leaders Born or Made?

Posted by on Oct 2, 2014 | 2 comments

Are good leaders born or made?  This is a popular debate that can fuel discussions for both points of view.  It can lead into a whole host of tangents.  For the purpose of this article, I am taking the opinion that everyone has some level of leadership skills within themselves.  Yes, you have the opportunity inside of you to hone your leadership skills and become the leader you need to be for your career and your life.  Each one of us has leadership potential.  The key is to recognize that you are already a leader.  Perhaps you just need a gentle nudge to recognize your power.

If the thought of you becoming a leader starts to make you feel scared and worried with the image of you standing in front of hundreds of people all looking to you for guidance, fear not,  that’s not it at all.  I mean that you have the power to be the leader of your own career.  Chart your own course.  Take a stand for yourself and begin to develop the life you want to live.  Whether you are working as part of a team, running a household or the only person in your department, you can behave like a leader.  And yes, it means you are a leader of your own company which is called your life.

Leadership is proactively setting out to have a desired impact, noticing what your actual impact is, and adjusting your behavior so that you can achieve your desired impact. This applies to all circumstances of leadership – whether you are leading your life, a career change, a meeting, your family, a team of co-workers, or a business.

I have listed only some of the top qualities that great leaders possess and how you can apply them for your own career.

Fairness – Great leaders are able to look at what is best for their organization as a whole. When thinking of your career, this means you are able to keep yourself a priority.  Know what makes you happy and the kind of work that will fulfill you.  Know your boundaries and limits and stick by them.   At the same time, know when you need to pitch in and do your part as a member of the team.   You need to be fair to yourself and fair to those around you.

Knowledge – Leaders should attempt to get as many details about a situation as possible before making their decision.  When you are gathering information about a situation for yourself, part of the information you need to notice is how you are feeling.  When you think of the situation, what is your gut instinct trying to tell you?  Do you have an inkling for any particular direction?  Listen to it and take note.

Decisive – Great leaders always proclaim their decision and then stand by it 100%, even if they are secretly indecisive.  Same applies for you in your life.  Once you have made your decision, do not second guess yourself.  Firmly make your decision, stand by it, prepared for whatever results or consequences may come of it.  Do not think of what might have been if you made a different choice.  There are no mistakes in life, just learning experiences.

Honesty – For the good of their organization, good leaders share as much information as they possibly can.  Being honest with yourself about what you want and why will help you create the career that will fill you up instead of drain you.  Taking a good hard, honest look at your life now and the life you want will be the guide you need.

Trustworthy – Consistently tell the truth.  When you consistently stick within your boundaries you begin to trust yourself.  You will begin to see that you can make decisions that give you the results you want.

Of course, these are just a few of the many characteristics that make up a good leader.  There are many, like courage, passion, resilience, confidence.  When you start to recognize yourself as being in control of your own career and the decisions you make, you begin to feel empowered.  If this is a new concept for you, this will take some practice but the impact on your life will be amazing.   What other qualities have you expressed or seen modeled in a leadership situation?


  1. Great read and I agree….

    King David was always in his heart to lead a nation to conquer foes and to glorify God

    But he followed as well…all the while knowing who HE was…Knowing WHOSE he was..

    Joseph…Daniel..Abraham..Moses…Esther..Ruth..etc. their is a divine process to becoming a great leader, but the call was always there…

    Deep in their hearts, in our hearts we knew we were called to more..

    • Hi Rick, thank you for your comments. Ahhh, so true. I love how you stated “deep in their hears, in our hearts, we knew we were called to more…” That is so true. I believe we all are called to more but for most of us, we are not aware there is more than what we have. Or that we cannot expect to be more than who we are. We have been conditioned to think that there isn’t more to life or that it is for others and not us. Thank you for this great reminder! Stay true to what’s in your heart. Shannon

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