If ever there was a time for true leaders to stand up and be counted, surely it is now.
In my view, we are in this predicament because of a combination of weak and corrupt leadership, but you know, there must be almost as many theories on leadership as there are leaders themselves and models for the best kind of leadership change with the times.
In the 15th century, Niccolo Machiavelli advocated a combination of cunning and intimidation as a way to more effective leadership. His philosophy, if not his practices, became unfashionable some time ago.
"Great Man" theories, popular in the 19th century and early this century, are based on the notion of the 'born leader' who has innate talents that cannot be taught.
An alternative approach that is still in vogue is based on trying to identify the key traits of effective leaders. Behaviourist theory prefers to see leadership in terms of what leaders do rather than their individual characteristics, and it tries to identify the different roles they fulfil. More recently, attention has moved away from the individual in the leadership role to embrace a more holistic view and investing less in what some commentators refer to as the 'myth of the heroic leader'.
Requirements of a Leader:
It is my view that an effective leader needs to be:
• A good diagnostician, who can sense and appreciate differences in people and situations.
• Adaptable, in the ability to adapt the leadership style to circumstances.
A leader must realise there is no one best way to influence people.
In summary, to those who would suggest that great leaders are born not made, I would say this: We can examine all of the great leaders in history and identify some common characteristics but we cannot say they were "Born Leaders." They all developed into their leadership roles over a period of time, learning the skills along the way. I do believe that leaders can be developed - I have to believe that because currently we have far too few of them in the world.
Today's News: Fellow Top Sales Expert, Dave Brock published a great post last week: "Why Do Salespeople Have Such A Bad Reputation?" It was picked up by The Customer Collective and got more than three hundred and fifty views - plus it attracted a lot of comments. It also attracted the attention of this week's "Horse's Ass" - a guy called Axel Schultze.
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Tomorrow: By pure coincidence, my guest on The JF Guest Author Spot is Craig Klein, CEO at SalesNexus - "Simple steps to identifying prospects that will buy"
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