Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can Leadership Skills Be Acquired?

Leadership has become a fanciful concept. Everyone talks of leadership. With the growing realization of the power of leadership and with the flooding of information on techniques and strategies for leadership development, a lot of interest has been created on leadership so much so that the concept of  leadership is being talked about even in relation to small groups.

Another word that has gained popularity during the last couple of decades is 'Team.'  People no longer work in groups. They work in teams! The word 'team' definitely looks more respectable than the word 'group.' A team is a more organized and a more powerful combination than a team and is expected to deliver because of the very nature of its structure. Some bright guy has turned the old English word team into a modern acronym by expanding it as 'Together Everyone Achieves More!' What a fantastic construction!

Since more is expected from a team, the concept of leadership has been integrated into it. A team is led by a Leader! In fact, the word team is sometimes considered a synonym for leadership. A team performs because it has a leader who knows how to get things done by his team members, some of whom may be more knowledgeable and more skilled than him. But he has  (at least, he is expected to have) one quality which makes him distinguished to gain the status of a leader. And that quality is 'leadership skills.'

There is an unresolved dispute about leadership skills. The point of dispute is whether these skills are inborn or whether they can be acquired. A lot of literature and training modules have been created to make anyone develop the leadership skills. While it is true that it is possible for anyone to acquire these skills through training, there is no gainsaying the fact that some are born leaders. This does not mean that leadership quality is genetic and not cultivable. Some are born rich. But there are many who are born poor but become rich by their efforts. In fact, there are several people who were born poor but have acquired an incredible amount of riches within a short period by sheer intelligence, innovation and hard work.

So, if one born poor can turn rich by his efforts, one who is not a born leader can, become a leader as well, by acquiring the leadership skills through learning and application.

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