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Leaders Don’t Always Think About Being Leaders

Originally posted: July 12, 2010 on TrishMcFarlane.com

Leaders don’t always think about being leaders.  They just do it.

  • They lead.
  • They take charge.
  • They take ownership and responsibility.

This comes whether they are getting a paycheck for it or not.  Disagree?

You only have to look as far as your nearest kid to see that there is always one in the group who will tell the others what sport or game they should play, who should be on each team, and when they are going to do it.  Some kids perceive this person to be bossy, but what they are really doing is taking the lead.  From those early childhood moments, leaders begin honing and refining their leadership style.  By the time these school yard leaders reach the business world, they typically have a good deal of experiences that have taught them how to read people, how to influence others, how to negotiate and when to manipulate, and how to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to opportunities.

The interesting part is that these people are not always the people who wind up in leadership positions in your organization.  Look around.  What’s intriguing in the workplace are the informal leaders- those who don’t have a leadership title- who are the ones in a department who get the other employees behind their mission.  These informal leaders are the one that can get things done at the staff level.  They can also prevent initiatives from taking hold.  They may not be thinking about being leaders, but they are.  Pay attention to this group when you need to:

  • Institute any change that will affect all employees
  • Want to promote opportunities to team across departments
  • Need to get feedback, participation, and buy-in on a specific topic

So, for all the articles and books you can read about how to be a better leader, it doesn’t change that fact that for many, it’s something that you’re born with.  What do you think?  Are leaders “born”?

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