The business card of being a learning and development facilitator, when flashed at the client, raise suspicion embedded curious eyebrows followed by a question. So, do you think leaders are born or are made? The question has an answer from the seeker and he is absolutely firm is expecting an affirmation as a reply to his query. So, how do I go about ensuring a reply, laced with an appropriate response that is covertly flattering and yet establishes my point of view?
From the point of view of a trainer and facilitator to learning, the easiest approach is to align my response to my first hand experiences with the learner/participant’s interpretation of Leadership.
The top 5 responses in context to the managerial roles are as follows:
a) The ability to COMMAND people in getting MY job done.
b) A personality that DEMANDS respect.
c) DECISION MAKER, when it comes to the FATE of my SUBORDINATES.
d) Being the HEAD by the virtue of my role and position within the organisation.
e) Not getting to HEAR, NO as an answer.
The top 5 responses in context to having identified the difference between a Manager and a Leader are as following:
a) The ABILITY to INFLUENCE people in getting OUR job done.
b) A CHARISMA that commands respect.
c) Being a MENTOR to the FOLLOWERS, when it comes to looking up at someone at the face of crisis and challenge.
d) Subscribed to being a LEADER by the followers by the virtue of envisioning a ROAD-MAP to the BIGGER PICTURE and by seeking individual COMMITMENT to collective goals.
e) Everyone has something to contribute and all it takes is to LISTEN.
Now, let’s look at the application of leadership as understood by the participants of the Leadership workshop as the top 5 personal action plan drawn by them:
a) I will work towards creating ‘SELF-BELIEF and then get to influence my TEAM to work on it by offering direction and guidance through my own competence and involvement in the goal.
b) I will continuously EMPOWER people through my belief on them as critical resources by supporting their decisions and delegating authority with measured accountability.
c) I will develop an ear for FEEDBACK by working on my LISTENING skills.
d) I will look beyond order and consistency by EFFECTING change and movement towards EXCELLENCE.
e) I will plot small journeys and maps to reach the final destination.
Based on the learning outcome, I have reasons to believe that Leaders are made and not born, strictly in the parlance of corporate dialect and professional competence. It requires one to practice the fundamentals and emulate the ever evolving tenets of Corporate Leadership to draw a distinct line of demarcation between a practicing Manager and Role Model.
To profess and to develop this trait, one requires firmness of the objective and bountiful of enthusiasm to pursue, especially at the face of adversity. The Leader transforms a potential to reality by empowering people without feeling insecured or threatened by plotting sojourns to reach the final destination called a value based belief which has a cascading effect beyond the event by positively impacting the lives, times and beliefs of people within and beyond the kinship.