characteristics of natural leaders
Leadership exists on a
continuum from managing self to managing others to
managing the organization. Natural leadership does not
mean that you either have it or you don't. It does mean
that you are willing to assess your style and behavior,
and that you are willing to learn and grow.
1. The only
person you can change is yourself.
before managing others or managing an organization.
Understanding the impact of your behavior is crucial to
2. You must
feel comfortable being in a leadership role.
Leadership calls for
authenticity. If you are not comfortable with the role,
others will sense it and withhold the full measure of
whatever it is they have to contribute.
3. Being a
natural leader involves being able to adjust your style to
the skill level and commitment of others in any given
Reading the people/task
mix requires skill, flexibility and intuition.
leaders develop other leaders
Leaders of today must
share skills, insight and power to bring along others
who have the potential to lead. This includes giving
others the opportunity to lead. Someone once said that
leadership is like manure. Left in a pile it starts to
smell really bad and does no good. Spread around evenly
it promotes growth and doesn't smell bad at all.
5. As a
leader, you must make sure information flows freely in all
The culture must be such
that withholding information to strengthen one's own
power or for any reason is absolutely not tolerated.
have to be accessible.
You have to create a
culture in which people feel they can tell you the bad
news as well as the good news. You cannot isolate
yourself or let others isolate you.
Leadership in modern organizations means sometimes fading
into the background . . . when it is natural to do so.
You do not have to plan
every tactic or lead every charge. Hire good people who
can articulate your vision as well as you can (maybe
even better) and then let them do it.
need to provide support.
Become a sponsor for
someone else's idea or project. Make sure you provide
the resources and structure others need to succeed.
must create a culture that encourages risk and tolerates
In these times, playing
it safe in business is the riskiest strategy.
Leadership skills can be developed.
Natural does not mean
born with. Leadership skills can be learned and this
learning circles back to self-management.