Leadership – Can it Be Taught, Improved or Developed?
I started my involvement with leadership when I won a Leadership Award from the Red Cross when I was in high school. I didn’t realize I was being a leader, but ever since I have been a student of this very important, but very elusive topic.
It seems to me there are more business books on leadership than any other topic. I think one of the more interesting questions about leadership is whether it can be taught, improved or developed, versus, as some beleive you are born with it. The many authors of books on leadership believe the former, but for some reason I tend to beleive that truly inspiring leaders are born with the leadership gene which can be refined, nurtured and developed, but not created. Truly inspiring leaders are very rare to find.
Regardless of which camp you are in, I would like to highly recommend Leadership Skills that Inspire Incredible Results, by Fred Halstead. Fred has spent his entire career as an executive search consultant and senior executive coach for some of the largest companies in the world. He has a wealth of practical experience which he uses to provide case studies of the benefits of following his very practical and simple rules for developing your leadership skills, but more importantly in using those skills to help bring out the best in your staff. That is his main focus.
You may find it hard to accept, but Fred’s first recommendation involves listening. Not token listening, but truly open-minded listening that suspends judgement of the person doing the talking. This not only allows for new ideas to surface, but encourages the speaker to produce their best results because they know you are going to listen to them. It’s a respect thing and it does not come overnight. It is a learned skill.
Another key skill that a leader needs to hone is their ability to ask powerful questions. I have been focusing on asking people better, more specific questions since reading about this and I have definitely been getting better results from my conversations. It is not easy to do, but it can greatly improve the outcomes of your interactions. Don’t start a question with “why,” start with “what.”
The rest I will leave to you to find out by clicking here.
It’s a short, simply written, highly valuable read that you will be able to apply immediately.
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