Are leaders born? That is a complex question, for leaders are born and yet they can be trained, therefore the answer is Yes and No.
Leadership is a matter of life and death, for where the head goes the body follows, if the leader is clueless he will only cause great calamity. No one in their right mind should place their faith in a born leader if he is lacking in the proper training. Look at leadership like a $ 250,000 car, would you trust your baby to someone who tinkers with cars for a hobby?
There is too much at stake in leaving leadership to chance, there is much that must be in place before anyone can claim they are a leader. There are principles that must be acknowledged, studied and put into practice until they become second nature.
Leadership is not a two bit circus act, people’s lives and future are in the balance and only serious minded people need apply.
Before anyone even thinks of becoming a leader they must first examine their character, and if they are lacking they should not take up this mantle for they will be crushed. History has laid this fact bear for all to see. ‘To thine own self be true and as surely as night follows day you will be true to others,’ therefore the first characteristic a potential leader must have is honesty. Without this cornerstone the house of leadership will collapse. It goes without saying that the cement of honesty must also be mixed with honour and trustworthiness. Once the foundation of Honesty has set the Noble House of leadership can be built.
The prospective leader must also be a visionary, he must look beyond the now and see a future that is not supported by present circumstances. This is why a leader must have a strong mind and be in possession of a will stronger than steel, so that day to day grind of life does not wear him out. A leader must also be focused, because ‘To be distracted is to be defeated,’ that is why a future leader must have a mind that is focused like a laser beam.
A leader must be a thinker for once he has set his course he must have a plan to achieve his desired goal. ‘ There is no substitute for preparation’ should be foremost in all leaders’ minds. ‘A general can be forgiven for being defeated but never for getting surprised’, therefore leaders should always be planning, preparing and studying. ‘Leaders are Readers’ All leaders and potential leaders should make books the air they breathe and the water they drink and libraries are to be seen as the gateway to heaven.
No leader should be on friendly terms with ignorance, for ignorance is an unspeakable evil. There is no better way to banish this tool of the Devil than by opening a book.
This is too painfully obvious but it needs to be said, leaders must love people and be concerned about their well being. People skills are the foundation of leadership and every leader must be well versed in this art and an eternal student in the science of people skills. A leader is a glorified servant not a king, it is only fair that the leader cares for the people that allowed him to have the position in the first place.
Leadership is not a bed of roses being watered with milk and honey, it is a holy commission; Lives are at stake and futures to be made or broken. ‘A life unexamined is not worth living,’ therefore, if the weight of leadership does not make you second guess your motives then you can not be considered for leadership.
By Michael Williams