I remember sitting in one of my Leadership Master’s classes years ago for my administrator certificate, when I was asked for the first time (of what was to be many more times to come),“Are leaders born or made?” It was such a piercing question that has resonated with me for a while now. I have seen many examples of leadership: the good, the bad, and the ugly. As I currently work on my doctorate degree in leadership, I often still ask myself this question that my professor once posed. In my little opinion, I absolutely believe leaders are BORN to lead. Everyone can’t be a leader, effectively anyways, if that don’t have that ‘special touch’ of what it takes. You need to be able to connect to those you lead, and not be so caught up in your own agenda, that you forget about the people who are fighting on the front lines daily. You have to be able to pause and stop in your busy day to make someone else’s day. You have to realize that your visions and dreams are not always the one’s of those you lead, but if you’re a GREAT leader, you can creatively convince them to see your vision and believe in it. So in turn, yes I feel leaders are born into this world, however as they grown and develop in that gift of leadership, they can be MADE to be even better…
I often think of the question raised in my doctoral studies: if the people who currently follow you as a leader, still do so if they had the choice? Wow! When I first heard that question, I knew I had to be the type of administrator that people would TRUST and follow me anywhere, even if they had the option not to. That is so important to me. People are important to me. Those I lead, are IMPORTANT TO ME.
Thinking of even the youngest level of leaders, where does it all begin? Recently we just held Student Council elections in our Middle School, Grades 5-8. I am the Dean of Grades 5&6, so attached you will see the picture of their sweet little faces. Headed up by 2 great teachers on our team, Jenny Novoselsky (Grade 5 World Geography teacher, and Head of Grade), and Mary Beth Struble (Grade 6 math teacher), we are teaching them early on what it means to be a true leader. While we gave many speeches about not just voting for your friends, and putting people in the right position of who will get the job done, it is pretty null and void when you are 10 or 11 years-old, and want to vote in your ‘BFF’ or the most popular kid in school. Either way this is a great group, and we are excited to mold them into awesome leaders!
So to you I ask, are leaders BORN or MADE? …and….If YOU had the CHOICE would you follow your current leader? These are the questions that can have many answers….
STAY TUNED FRIENDS!
(Clipart Credit: Leadership Stock Illustrations: http://www.gograph.com)