“Insight 17. Leaders are made not born. This controversy continues. The question has not gone away. We attest that leaders are made. While this is certainly not a new point of view, we go on record declaring this to be a fact. We contend that strong evidence exists to support this conclusion. We readily acknowledge that some people start with advantages of intellect or personality, but the case for leaders being made and be confirmed by finding just one organization that does it successfully (US Marine Corps).
Some, in my experience, have incredible personalities that make them “the life of the parties”, and others whose intelligence makes them sought after for advice. Important traits, but does not qualify them as great leaders. Traits were so significant that other valuable and needed competencies were missing.
Insight 18. Leaders can improve their leadership effectiveness through self-development.
Unfortunately it was rare for me to find managers who took time and interest to develop their leadership competencies. Especially when, as we have covered, their bosses were satisfied with their good performance or found other, more “interesting” ways to spend the day.
Insight 19. The organization, with a person’s immediate boss, provides significant assistance in developing leadership.
I can’t recall a time when this happened after Dow. Dow was an impressive company to work for in my early years there.
After Dow, asking for leadership training was as if I was asking for the incredible. Agree, somewhat, to the program, then avoid supporting it. Results were as you would guess. Minimal improvement, if any. There were those not in leadership positions hoping that participating in the training would increase their chances of promotions. Some were successful.
Insight 20. The quality of leadership in an organization seldom exceeds that of the person at the top.
Accurate insight. I witnessed many examples of managers mimicking words and behavior demonstrated by the top person with the hope of making the “right” impression. Even to designs of ties, belts, clothing, hair styles, and…. Oh how I dislike butt kissers!
Most are not willing to “buck the system”, but I was unwilling not to. I’ve always worked to support the underdog. Titles are insignificant, but caring, compassionate, supportive, forthright behaviors are not. Wanting a title without the rest is one reason why this country is lost in the minutiae of talk, talk, talk, minus any positive action/results.
Next: The Extraordinary Leader
Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders
GREAT LEADERS MAKE A GREAT DIFFERENCE