Cultivating a leadership personality

Are leaders born or made?

What research there is suggests that leadership qualities result from a combination of genetics and skill. Yes, there are natural born leaders, but someone can also learn how to be a good leader. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Gandhi are great examples of born leaders, but Bill Gates, Colonel Sanders, James Dyson, and Henry Ford had to learn and cultivate their leadership skills.

All in all, all of these personalities – whether they were born leaders or had to learn the hard way – have had a profound impact on the world and are revered globally for their success.

Too often, we confuse leadership with charisma and, while there’s some overlap, the truth is that it takes more than just charisma to be a great leader. So, what personality traits do great leaders have in common, and how can we cultivate these traits in our own life to boost our entrepreneurial journeys?

Creativity

In this article John Boitnott, a digital media consultant, explains that creativity is more than just the ability to develop new ideas. It is an infinite resource that can be consumed by overuse, but it will never run out.

Being creative requires an open mind and willingness to experiment with new methods. It’s not just about having ideas but also about listening to other people’s ideas and bringing them into your own work.

A creative leader looks at problems through multiple lenses – both professional and personal – to find solutions that others might miss because they lack this skill set.

Flexibility

One of the most critical leadership skills is the ability to pivot or adjust when the situation demands it. In this article, Forbes compiled a list of nine types of pivots that can help anyone lead a team. When you can pivot like this, you demonstrate constant adaptability, which is crucial for success in today’s workplace.

Tenacity

The ability to keep moving despite challenges is a mark of leadership. It means you’re not just looking at what’s in front of you but also thinking about the future.

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, believed that tenacity was a key personality trait required for leadership. He famously said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty”.

Tenacity helps you look at challenges as opportunities rather than roadblocks. The story of Thomas Edison is a classic example of how persistence pays off. He failed 10,000 times before he invented the first successful light bulb.

Passion


Passion is at the heart of entrepreneurship. It drives us to take risks, make mistakes, and create new things. It pushes us forward when we feel stuck in the same old way of doing things. It’s the fuel that keeps us going when we feel like we’ve hit a dead end.

However, passion is not just a feeling – it is loving what you do and pushing through regardless of the adversities.

Without passion, success is impossible.

Effective communication

Effective communication is a key factor in the success of any business. It means that people are not only listening but also comprehending what you’re saying. Your business will fail if you can’t get your message across clearly. No one will buy what you’re selling, and no one will work for you.

Conclusion

While every leader is different, they all share similar characteristics. They are passionate, creative, tenacious, and adaptable.

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