The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.
— Warren Bennis
Far too often we hear people say, “I’m just not a leader. Leaders are born that way and I wasn’t one of them.”
Consistent with the quote above by Warren Bennis, such statements are not only untrue – they are dangerous. Because the belief that, “I am not a leader” runs the risk that we will passively accept what is occurring around us - rather than taking action to influence what is occurring.
The danger only intensifies if what is happening around us is headed in an unproductive (or destructive) direction. Passivity in such a case is particularly dangerous. Because leadership – exercising personal initiative – could instead help influence the current direction - and could result in a more positive outcome.
Leadership is simply much more about taking action, initiating action, at a point in time when those around us are being passive (or for any other reason failing to act when and where action is possible).
So the question each of us must ask ourselves is this, “Am I a leader?” And that answer can be, “Yes,” or it can be, “No.”
Which will it be?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net