Can Anyone Be A Leader ?

I wrote an article yesterday called Three Simple Steps to Becoming a Leader  and I received a lot of interesting feedback, most of it was appreciative thanking me for the simple advice that they would look to use, but some of it was completely negative, telling me that not everyone was cut out to be a leader, that leadership was something that we are born with.

I am always amazed when I hear that. What gives some people the right to say who can and cannot be a leader, why put your negative beliefs forward, which may hold someone back from being all that they can. I suspect that these same people see themselves as leaders, yet they look to limit possibilities for others, which is not very leadenly at all.

Now I am not saying everyone will become a leader and I am definitely not saying that everyone will be a great leader, but I do believe that we all have the capacity to lead, especially with the John Quincy Adams definition, where leadership is defined by people responding to your actions, becoming inspired.

I actually inspired people by running a marathon, training 4-5 times a week and then completing the race, and under Adams definition, this made me a leader. I didn’t have a position, a title or a team, yet people saw what I was doing and many others started to run too, and some even ran with me. The number of messages I got form people telling me I had inspired them was amazing.

Leadership is about action, it’s about the impact we have on people, as much as it is about having a high powered position. I would go far as to say that many people in leadership positions are not even leaders, they are experts or managers who lead uninspired teams.  How can I say that, well it’s because 70% of employees are either disengaged or actively disengaged, which is a clear sign of a lack of leadership.

I’d be interested to get other peoples thoughts and views on that. Now I don’t want to say that I have all the answers, I don’t, but these are my opinions based on my experiences, so what’s your view, what does your experience tell you?

Looking forward to the discussion.

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