Are you born or are you made?
During an exchange program in the Netherlands, I faced this question for the millionth time in my life, are you born to lead, or do you become a leader? As expected, there were two main groups;
The ones that argued that you were born virtuous, talented, a natural leader, and the second group that claimed that anyone could become a leader given the right training and tools.
There was another group that made a trivial argument. They thought that you were born a leader but needed the right training. They tried to combine both philosophies into one resulting in an odd combination where you had it into the DNA but had to… unlock it…?
I need to read
After this little questionnaire, the professor described the characteristics of a leader and asked the students to raise their hands if they felt identified with it.
The results of this exercise are shocking, out of a 500 student lecture, only four people raised their hands, including me. Less than one percent of students feel worthy of leading.
Allow me to show you the truth of the matter, even tho it may be harsh to admit.
You are born to lead.
You cannot become one
Before you feel disappointed, allow me to elaborate on leadership, you might find that you were born a leader after all.
You are born to lead
You are born a leader. There is no discussion about it. You have to be born special¹; fortunately, this means we can all lead.
If everyone excelled in the same way, there would be no competition, nothing special about us, and no one would be able to lead.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein.
Leadership is excelling, and that is why everyone can be a leader, we are all proficient at something, and as Guinness World Record proves time and time again, even snapping your fingers can land you in the same books as Nobel price winners.
We all excel at something. That is why Federer is the best tennis player in history, while Dan Brown is regarded as one of the best thriller writers, and Niclas Nadasdy can snap his fingers 334 in a minute.
If we keep judging leadership in the usual office setting, those 497 students will never feel comfortable thinking themselves as leaders, or as virtuous in any way.
Wether is something mundane as snapping your fingers, or in my case, being able to negotiate, speak, and write, there is something that makes you unique. There also are ways to become proficient at something.
To improve, you must create habits². Find something that you like and is easy for you, and you will be unstoppable.
It does not mean that you will not become successful in other aspects of your life like communication; To improve your arguments, use silence³ and create a safe space⁴.
You may not become the best in communication if it is not your virtue, but you will become better than average. Find what makes you unique and work on it.
With the fear of sounding like Oprah.
“You are a leader, you are a leader, everyone is a leader.”
You are virtuous in a different way your brothers or acquaintances are; if we were all exceptional in the same industry, there would not be any leaders. If everyone is super, no one is.
It does not matter what you do, art, sports, science, business, find that which makes you unique and become excellent.
Lead and Stand out with your innate abilities and through habits.
With The Art of Excelling; Lead, become that which you have always dreamed of.
- Exploit what makes you special with The Art of Excellence; Differentiate.
- Learn how to create habits without effort with The Art of Excellence; Identity.
- Learn how to lead better conversations in The Art of Discussion; Silence.
- Create a place for open communication in with The Art of Discussion; Safe Space.