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Are We All “Natural Born Leaders”?

Leadership Photo

Leadership illustration by Freepik

Nowadays the LinkedIn & Co are filled with leadership posts. If you keep scrolling, you’ll get the impression I get: everybody is a tiger/tigress, even if they don’t have claws. Even if they look like innocent kitties or Easter bunnies. Everybody is a potential marathon runner, even if they don’t even pace 200 meter a day. Everybody can run the Government, Apple or any type of a machine that has a crew. Anybody can wake up one day and leave the family, the faithful dog or the unfaithful cat behind – and simply go on a world-round tour in a shabby boat, purchased on Amazon. Anybody can build an online shop like Amazon, start by selling cryptocurrencies and end by selling boats for the a.m. mentioned use.

(Here I should probably take a break and quote Virgin Branson by saying that “anybody can be a millionaire if they start as a billionaire and launch an airline company”).

Well, YOU (the tigress) get by now my idea. Read a few blogs (who needs books? Workshops? Expensive coaches) and you’ll start your journey towards being the greatest.

But the sad, horrible and sobering truth is that most of us are hardly leadership material who can make it in chemistry AND athletics, same time. Or in XBox championships AND investment management. To spare you, I will stop here with the enumerations.

For every leadership book I am reading out there, the are also 0.05 down-to-earth words of wisdom from somebody who has seen the other coin side –  in a  statistically relevant way. Consultants DO see a lot of companies, even when they are at the bottom of the ranking order in a top 10 firm. So do professors and professionals who get exposure to a decent amount of organizations. Or even people, in the psychologists’ cases. Thus, I tend to trust their experience, especially when it’s shared in an organized, written format.

Take for example the latest gurus, who promote themselves as your future guiding lighthouse in life. Would you rather trust them or hard-facts, statistically relevant facts? Mind it please that I am not trying to tilt the balance one way – or another. I am just saying that I am more inclined to trust proven recipes. I am less inclined to trust (in leadership matters) Tony Robbins (“I Am Not Your Guru”), John C. Maxwell or Robert Kiyosaki, even if they have their merits. And I am not going to trust them ESPECIALLY when they proclaim that anyone can be a leader.

Yes, anyone can become a better version of herself, but not a leader (in absolute terms).

I would rather trust consultants and academic-background leadership researchers, who at least try to check and prove their points. I trust and apply leadership advices from Michael Watkins (“Master Your Next Career Move”), Bruce Tulgan, Brene Brown or Marc Effron. They are hard-working professionals, who apply scientific methods to their research.

And yes, they managed to extract what really could make you a better leading person. Not a leader – this is probably too high a goal.

As the Chinese say, any journey starts with a small step. I already took lots of small steps – and the journey still shows me new hills. So I guess that at the end of the day I can only hope to become better at leading others in a good direction – by using the little tools I have and the learnings shared with me.

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