What Makes A Leader?



Last week, a young man asked me a very interesting question: Are leaders born or are they made?

My response to him was that leaders blaze their own trails.  They have a clear vision of what they want and communicate that very effectively.  They don’t allow others to control them or manipulate them; keeping control of everything.  Most important, leaders understand that first, you must take orders before you give them.  I also recommend that he read The 48 Laws of Power by Michael Greene.

It touched me that he thought enough to ask me and I sincerely hope that he will become a great leader.  He’s a business major at Georgia Southern University.

Leaders are dynamic.  They set the pace–being the example.  The have great social skills, empathy, self-control, and regulation.   They are committed. They are great motivators.   A leader inspires others to be their best.  It’s innate in them and those who are in their presence; are motivated to transcend their own limitations.

Emotional intelligence is very high in such people as well as natural intuitiveness.

Leaders seem to know how to deal with situations; almost being clairvoyant to some degree as to the level of action required.

“It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant. They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions. But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader.”

And then there’s the understanding of power.  Leaders have it.  Those who want to survive, know how to use it.

Different types of situations call for different types of leaders, however, the true mark of Great leaders is always character.  I don’t care how much skill one has, the ability to impress people through your character leaves the greatest mark.


One comment on “What Makes A Leader?

  1. Adeen says:

    Wow, great article and I never thought of it that way before


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