How do you build the leader in you? Can leadership characteristics be acquired? Warren Bennis,
author of the leadership classic, On Becoming Leader,
says “Leadership is a function of knowing yourself, having a vision that is
well communicated, building trust among colleagues, and taking effective action
to realise your own leadership”
Ultimately, your first and greatest source of empowerment is knowing who you are; what you are doing here; who
your heroes are and asking, how do I
pay for my passage on earth?
Leonard Ravenhill in The
last days Newsletter
writes about a group of tourists who were
visiting a picturesque village. As they walked by an old man sitting beside a
fence, one tourist asked in a patronizing way, “Were any great men born in this
The old man replied “Nope,
only babies”
Leadership is developed,
not discovered. Leaders only emerge, they are not born. In wanting to become one
of the thousands of people aspiring to lead, you will find that all leaders fit
in one of the four categories of leadership below:
The Leading Leader
This is a
person born with leadership qualities and has also seen leadership modelled
throughout life. He has also acquired leadership qualities through training and
has built the self discipline required to become a great leader.
It is
important to note that three of the four leadership qualities of “The Leading
Leader” are acquired; they do not come with birth.
The Latent Leader
The latent leader cannot
lay claim to any leadership qualities at birth. Instead, he or she grows to see
leadership modelled, and learns to be a leader through training and acquires
the self-discipline needed to become a good leader.
The Limited Leader
The limited leader has
little or no exposure to leaders and leadership training but has the desire to
become a leader.
The Leader Manager
who fit into this category are long term thinkers who see beyond the day’s
crises and the quarterly report. They show strong interest in their companies
well beyond the units they lead. They want to know how all of the company’s
departments affect one another and they are constantly reaching beyond their
specific areas of influence.  They also
place heavy emphasis on vision, values and motivation and have strong political
skills to cope with conflicting requirements of multiple constituents and most
importantly, do not accept the status quo. They show a strong desire to change
things positively.
It is
important in your leadership aspiration to realise that people do not want to
be managed. They want to be led. No one is described as “World Manager?” instead
what we hear are; World Leaders, Political Leaders, Religious Leaders, Labour Leaders.
They lead, not manage!
So, the
ATTITUDES and ACTIONS you need to build the leader in you include understanding
your job description thoroughly; knowing where your company is coming from and
where it is going in terms of strategy; not being afraid to accept
responsibilities and maintaining passion for consistency and excellence in
whatever you do.
the “leader in you” also comes with being a creative person, showing empathy and
integrity, while avoiding bureaucracy and embracing team work in whatever you


In today’s progressively competitive world, successful leaders are
those that want more and do more. 
By Abayomi Orungbe


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