We teach, but can leadership be learnt?
CAN leadership be taught or are people born with it?
On a recent flight between Brisbane and Gladstone I was engaged in a conversation with a business owner over this very question.
With a reasonable-sized team, spread wide geographically, this gentleman argued that even with the best educators, many of his team members did not implement the tools they were learning and often reverted back to their old habits.
Given I have been teaching leadership and helping organisations implement leadership strategies for over a decade, it led me to consider the reality of this debate.
The answer to this question is simple.
Yes, leadership, like all skills, can be taught. However, the real question actually should be, can leadership be learnt?
And often it takes more than just formal training for a person or an organisation to learn the leadership skills required.
Research suggests that for most people, developing as a leader entails, first and foremost, a fundamental transformation and commitment to moulding and developing their personal influencing skills.
It involves re-examining their core beliefs and assumptions that they hold about themselves.
When you think of great leaders, consider what made them this. It is often hard won lessons and experiences that have honed this skill.
People need to be exposed to situations that will challenge their own behavioural styles and leaders and potential leaders need to be open to learn from these lessons.
At the heart of it, finding people who are open to learn and implement what they are being taught is the key, then we need to believe in them to unlock that door.