Is Leadership a Trait Difficult to Inculcate?


We see a lot of managers and designations, however death of leaders is paramount at work place. What would be your pointers/advice/suggestion on the following theme?

  • For the employee
  • For the Leadership
  • For HR

When you reply, do ensure you mention where the suggestion is applicable.

Leadership Development
Leadership Mentoring
Team Leadership
Khalid Raza
19 months ago

5 answers


Leader is the one who has Mission with Vision. We see lot of Leaders around but I call them Managers as they only manage business, client and other activities. So, we lack real leaders around us. And this is not only in corporates, even in political spectrum we lack real Leaders and that is the reason of Global Chaos all around us.
We cannot induce leadership qualities, there are so many trainings for leaders or becoming a leader, however I feel that's not how we get a person with leadership qualities, it has to be in-born, if you see a Leaders in real sense he/she will have those qualities imbibed from his childhood, the upbringing, social circle, education and the overall thinking and persona.
So, Leader has to be Mentor, Visionary, Guide who can lead the organisation or people. Leader can never be Manager.

Masarrat A Shah
19 months ago
I beg to disagree a bit - it is a quality which needs to be grown - it may be a natural outlook or a guided one as well. Sometimes it is just the realization. Can we help? - Khalid 19 months ago
Masarrat A Shah I made a similar point but I also feel that leadership is required at all levels. It's not just the charismatic CEO that needs such skills but also the maintenance engineer working night shifts and needing to keep the plant running. - David 19 months ago
Quality comes with experience and expertise and in relation to realization, I do not agree we need to make someone sit in a training class to realize that one has Leadership Quality. If one does not have mentorship, motivator-ship and lead the team quality minus blame game we cannot make that person realize. David Cottrell I agree with you. - Masarrat A 19 months ago

I subscribe to the thought that true leaders are those who are trusted by others - due to their proven competence, character, and caring - and are, therefore, influential in moving others forward by example toward worthy goals, whether they are in a formal leadership positions or not. While healthy organizational cultures can help to produce sound leadership practices (e.g., listening, informed decision-making, serving others well, taking considered risks, etc.) and built-in organizational disciplines (e.g., trainng, coaching/mentoring, performance management, planning and execution KPIs, etc.), can help to equip future leaders, to me those most successful as topnotch leaders at the helm of organizations are generally those that combine both God-given gifts (e.g., sound mind and solid communication gifts, the ability to be humble but firm in pursuit of teeam goals, a peace and fearlessness that comes from doing right even when circumstances seem most difficult) and proven abilities diligently gained in their chosen profession. Under the right senior leadership and culture, HR can help to assess, identify, and encourage the development of leaders (2Timothy 2:2), but this primary responsibility is shouldered by the CEO who should be perpetually engaged in sound organization and succession planning efforts to ensure ready internal bench strength aligned to the firm's core principles. For employees, the best advice is to be diligent in doing a great job with whatever responsibilities you've been entrusted with at the moment, knowing that such trust will bring growing responsibility in a firm that is growing. Lifelong learning and sharpening of related skills (business, technical, market-specific, interpersonal, etc.) is something that all future leaders will do to be continually strengthening their capabilities in ways that will enable them to be future leaders.

Don Barefoot
19 months ago
Don Barefoot I think leaders should be measured by their ability to develop other leaders. I see so many companies where bench strength is not given the priority it deserves. In Rugby, the England coach, Eddie Jones has stopped calling his bench 'substitutes' and refers to them as 'game finishers'. That sounds better, doesn't it? - David 19 months ago
David Cottrell Agreed! "leaders" who simply oversee things for a season and leave a headless team in tatters aren't leaders at all in the long-term sense of the stewardship responsibility they've been given. - Don 19 months ago

We can all learn some of the skills required to be a leader but most of the requirements are something that some people are born with. Which one of these three is the leader? I like to think it's the guy at the bottom. He's encouraged his team to reach the summit and then is seeking their help to join them.

Management looks at WHAT needs to be done and Leadership looks at HOW. Good leadership provides clarity for all people in a team/organisation. Everyone works better with clear leadership, as they know what is expected of them. They trust the other members of their team and they are results oriented.

David Cottrell
19 months ago
I'd say all of them could be leaders - not always the one who scales the last is the one. May be the first one took the lead to overcome and pave the way. May be the second one, who may have supported someone ahead of him to navigate. I feel leadership is contextual hence we all have the potential. The question remains - what can those 3 sets can do in their own capacity? - Khalid 19 months ago
Khalid Raza Hopefully they can achieve more as a team than 3 individuals. The synergy formed by the leader. - David 19 months ago
Yes Sir! - Khalid 19 months ago

No, it is not a totally an innate train. People can learn and vecome leaders. Many schools teach leadership courses successfully.

Hassan Qudrat-Ullah
19 months ago

All leadership qualities can be learnt and every human being has the potential to develop them. Needless to say, not everyone does.

It's a journey of life-long learning. In its essence it is a journey of expanding first your own level of consciousness. Then it is about the ability to inspire others to do the same. Developing leadership skills is the ultimate level of personal development for any human being.

Additionally, leadership is also a collective capacity of a human system. An organisation's ability to truly thrive and prosper is directly related to the average leadership capacity of everyone across the organisation.

The reason it is difficult for organisations and HR and management to develop these skills are several. First, they often do not understand the difference between management and leadership. Second, they mistake knowing with being and doing. I.e. when we talk about leadership, it cannot be learnt by accumulating knowledge. Third, they think that leadership skills are generic. In effect, every organisation, leader and leadership team calls for different.

Natalia Blagoeva
19 months ago
I disagree that ALL leadership attributes can simply be "learnt"... while many can, others are God-given (e.g., courage, intellectual clarity, willingness to "take risks," etc.). Political correctness is modern western society's biggest hurdle to effective leadership. Boldness & courage are needed to be trustworthy in modeling one integrated life of integrity to shared, lasting vision & values. - Don 19 months ago
I agree that some people get born naturally more courageous and with more clarity, etc. Nevertheless, given the right help and support, anyone can develop them. The problem is different. Some people would require a lot of quality coaching for lengthy periods of time. Most of them would not be able to afford that. And as a society, we are not interested to support them. - Natalia 19 months ago
Natalia... your view today's politically-correct notion that anyone can be whatever they desire (their "best self") if they just (fill in the blank.). Public schools drill this into kids from the beginning and it is a gross disservice to many whose aptitudes and inherent capacities dictate otherwise. God made us unique and uses such differences to shape healthy families, workforces, and teams. - Don 19 months ago
Don, I am very far from this propaganda. I see a world in which the wealth of your family defines what school you will attend and what will be your first job. The country you are born in defines your economic possibilities. How supportive you are of the current "system" defines how fast you would get ahead. The result is armies of people with unfulfilled potential, - Natalia 19 months ago
As one who has risen to CEO of large companies in spite of (1) parents not even attending high school, (2) having to attend mediocre public schools, and working to fund much of my own way through college, I (and most of the entrepreneurs & CEOs I coach) am an example of the inherent economic mobility in America, due to our Founders' vision: equal opportunity under the law. & moral free enterprise. - Don 19 months ago
Great. My point exactly :) - Natalia 19 months ago

Have some input?