Can leadership be developed?

Many people believe that leaders are born, and not made. You either have that natural gift or not. However, this is mostly a myth. Recent scientific studies suggest that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% learned.

While it is true that some people have innate traits and talents that may help them become good leaders, the fact is that leadership skills can be learned and developed through training and practice. This is the rationale for the establishment of leadership schools as far back as Plato’s Academy in 387 BC.

All a person really needs to become a good leader is genuine passion and commitment for growth and development. When this quality is present, everything else can be learned.

Leaders are made by acquiring the right knowledge and experiences which support personal development and nurture the capabilities to positively influence others. In fact, the concepts of leadership and continuous learning necessarily go together. A good leader always wants to know more and always pursues opportunities for improvement.

To lead, you must be able to connect, motivate, and inspire others to pursue shared objectives. To do this well requires being able to see how you think and understand how your behavior affects others. Becoming is great leader is a continuous journey of personal development, deliberate introspection, and a committed effort to self-improvement and behavioral change for greater effectiveness.

Anyone can be a leader, and everyone has room to learn new skills and grow their leadership competence. Sharpening one’s personal abilities through training programs and courses specifically aimed at developing leadership skills – such as communication, conflict management, time management and dealing with change – can be extremely valuable in supporting academic goals, accelerating career advancement, and achieving success in life.

The earlier that one starts their leadership journey, the greater the impact and benefits later in life. The ILM Leadership Academy offers the Young Leaders Award program and the Leadership and Team Skills program, which provide participants with the essential skills, knowledge, and personal abilities required in an ever-changing world through both theory and practical experience assignments. Please feel free to reach out to our official ILM Leadership Academy representative for more detailed information on how to develop leadership skills and knowledge while earning an internally respected credential from ILM, the Institute of Leadership and Management.