Leadership is a prime skill the big bosses often try to sniff out from their new recruits and middle managers. It is expressed through their ability to perform well in tasks wherein they have to work within a team setting. Strong leaders are effective and efficient managers who know how to get the job done by bringing the best out of their team.
Forms of leadership are varied across the board. Some leaders can command such an authoritative presence that he would terrorize the entire team when someone commits a mistake of flirting with failure. A few leaders choose to reinforce the strong traits of their team members to inspire them to work harder for the team. And then there are those who just lets things happen a la laissez-faire. Sometimes, letting a group of creative people are better off without the cracking whip from a leader.
This brings us to the next question: are leadership qualities likely to be connected to one's instincts or is it something that we learn? The business community is split on this issue. Most families who have chosen entrepreneurship as their bread and butter would claim that it is likely that genetics play a role in the determination of leadership roles and acumen.
The knock against this type of hypothesis though is that while it is true that sons and daughters do take over for their families once they are at the prime of their lives, their business sense may have actually been cultivated by their prolonged exposure to their parents and other family members who had something to do with the business. Leadership displayed in school projects and other tasks at the academe may not necessarily translate into positive leadership strengths, but it at least hints at the potential for greater leadership promise in the future, in the actual business situations that they have to face.
If you don't come from a pedigree of big shot businessmen, fret not. Leadership can also be learned by those who choose to put themselves forward and those who dare to fail. Leadership doesn't only put one in a position to call the shots. It also puts one in the position to be liable to every decision that one takes. Taking responsibility for one's choices as well the willingness to take these risks and make decisions for the company take courage, guts and business sense. But at the end of the day, it's all about confidence that what you're doing is right for everyone involved.
A special type of leader can influence and inspire others. While there are people who are just naturally oozing with charisma, those who weren't necessarily born charming can always learn to be more extroverted and inspiring by reading self-help books and attending leadership seminars. Companies invest on these types of projects so they might just do something for the aspiring leader.
Leadership is all about having the courage and the guts to make the tough calls and the hard decisions at the most trying of times. In the end, it's all about attitude and this is something that people can learn and change.