Leadership – is it inherited or taught?

April 25, 2014 : General Team Building

“An army of deer led by a lion is to be more feared than an army of lions led by a deer”

Leadership – the magic dust so frequently discussed either in glowing terms or in condemnation of someone’s perceived howler of a decision.  But where does this leadership come from? Is one born with the natural ability to lead or can anyone do it with the right instruction / guidance?

For me, being a parent and having managed soldiers, sports teams and employees at work for over 30 years I believe that a person can be born with the ability to lead. This ability will emerge at some point in life and it is up to that person to decide whether or not to accept the challenge. I say parent, as having 2 teenage boys myself, I have seen first-hand those of their friends who have a natural inclination to leadership, stand up and take over situations without prompting. This does not mean that those born without a natural ability to lead are unable to learn the skill to. They, much like those born without an easy flair for academia or athleticism, will perhaps, have to work harder at it than those to whom it comes naturally.

So how do we get the best out of our leaders? The key is in their development. All too often, lip service is paid to this critical part of the jigsaw. You would not give someone a job in marketing unless they were suitably qualified so why would you do the same with leadership? In developing leaders I will mention two areas for consideration in this blog. Firstly volume – often too much training is done in an unfeasibly short period of time. A better approach would offer less volume more frequently as this is far more effective than lengthy workshops that go on too long. Secondly relevance – relevant scenarios will not only retain the interest of those involved but also allows them to consider what they would have done in such circumstances, priming their reactions for future use.

Guy Richardson is a Maximillion Associate Consultant and Motivational Speaker, specialising in providing sports project management services and development strategies for high performance teams.


For more information on how Guy can help your team or organisation please contact Maximillion L&D Consultant Sandy Smith on sandy@maximillion.co.uk or on 0845 901 1422.

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