by Kayo (2019-02-09 04:57:46)
Edited on 2019-02-09 05:22:22

In reply to: Are leaders ...  posted by CJC

The late Warren Bennis, the most renowned leadership researcher and writer of my lifetime, said, "The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born."

I'll add that having a big personality that fills the room is not the same as being a leader.

Leaders have a vision of what the team must become, and he or she articulates it well. Leaders put their actions in context of the vision, and they make sure everyone knows how each of those actions moves the team closer to the vision. Most importantly, leaders are trustworthy. They are ethical and consistent. They do what they promise to do.

Leadersip is something done consciously, intentionally; and leaders are unfailingly optimistic. They always believe they and the team will overcome any obstacles that come their way.

Note that nothing above is a personality trait. It is learnable behavior. I saw Demetrius Jackson go from a display of poor leadershup in the NCAA Tournament game vs Butler when he was a so[homore to being a very good leader a year later. He had the leadership role thrust on him. He learned on the fly.

Jackson didn't hesitate when, about 8 games into the season, I asked him what he learned about leadership that he didn't know when practice started. Usually a guy who took a few seconds to formulate a thoughtful answer, he didn't hesitate on that question. "It's really hard," he said. Demetrius went on to talk about knowing when to push, when to put his arm around a teammate's shoulder, and when to show anger.

Jackson wasn't comfortable in the role at first, but he got there. He learned about motivation. He believed in himself. He intentionally worked to get good at it.

It doesn't take much time to learn about leadership. It takes a lot of work to put what's learned into practice. Jackson got good at it in the October to late January time frame.