Are Leaders Born or Are They Made?
By Gregg Gregory
Russell said in the movie "Miracle" —
You think you can win on talent
alone… Gentlemen you don’t have enough talent to win on talent
alone. Of course he was referring to the 1980 US Olympic
hockey team after a dismal showing against the Norwegian national
team. The same is true about leaders today.
Talent alone is not enough.
you need to take training sessions on how to be better leader and
for that matter everyone should be taking courses on how to be a
better follower as well. It goes beyond just the theoretical and
what can be taught in a classroom. Many have heard the old
expression—who you know may get you in the door and the job, how
well you do will keep you there. There is something to that
We need to
continue our education from the classroom level and of course we
always learn from OJT. Ask yourself these questions - how many
industry specific training days have I taken in the last 12 months?
How many non-industry specific training days have I taken in the
last 12 months? Top leaders take between four and eight in each
arena every 12 months.
all of the other ways we learn? Is it possible that we learn and do
not even recognize that we have learned something until years later?
We all have
lessons we learned in so many different ways. We refer to these as
defining moments in our life. Our life can be our personal or
professional life and the more we have our eyes open to what we can
learn the more we learn and when we add this to our formal talent
training we get great leaders. It is possible that we had a defining
moment in our personal life that can help define us in our
professional environment and of course that also works the other way
around. A defining moment at work can impact our personal life the
next day, the next month or maybe not for years to come. Regardless
we learn from the defining moments of our lives. In many cases these
are the really hard lessons we learned.
To identify your
top defining moments in your life (both personal and professional)
navigate these six simple steps:
1) Write down the top 10 lessons you have learned in
your work life.
2) Think back over each of those lessons and determine
your earliest recollection about this lesson. Remember just because
it is a work life lesson does not mean you did not have a pre work
life understanding of this lesson and brought it into your work
3) Write down the top 10 lessons you have learned in
your personal life.
4) Go back and write down your earliest recollection
about this lesson.
5) Set the above aside and next write down the names of
the top 10 people who have had a positive influence in your whole
6) Go back to your lessons and write down those
lessons that have immediate implication in both your personal and
professional segments of your life.
have your top defining moments in your life. Now go back to those
moments and see what other lessons may be hiding in there that you
have yet to uncover. This entire exercise does require a significant
amount of reflecting on your part —Do not attempt to do this
exercise in less than an hour— I also suggest you do not do this at
your office. In many cases people have taken a long weekend to
uncover their defining moments.
an added bonus - look to see who among your influencers influenced
you the most. Here comes the hard part. In many cases this person or
persons will be someone you are still close to today and maybe even
a family member. When was the last time you thanked them for what
they have done for you? Your assignment - call or go see this these
influencers of your life within 72 hours of completing this
they are outside of your immediate family and they have passed away
then think, do I know any of their immediate family members? If you
do, then call or go see them. You will possibly set a defining
moment in their life. How awesome would that be - bringing it all
full circle. That is what great leaders do.
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