Leadership ~ Nature vs. Nurture?

We’ve often heard it debated as to whether leaders are born or developed, which I find to be an interesting conversation. While I do believe that you can be born with certain leadership “characteristics”, that in no way means that you will become a leader. Let’s take for example, the person who has been extremely extroverted and charismatic their entire life, but lacks the vision and discipline necessary to lead. Conversely, there have been many people who have conquered their fear of public speaking or social anxiety or some great tragedy to lead a movement because of how much it meant to them.

One of my favorite leadership mentors, Robin Sharma, defines leadership in a way that I really connected with. He said, “Leadership is really about using the authentic power that resides within you to go out in the world every day and leave things better than you found them. I think that is really the ultimate definition of leadership. No matter what your station is in life, whether you are a taxi driver or a street sweeper or a poet or a CEO or a wildly successful entrepreneur, the best leaders have this ability to always be delivering what I call ABDOV, Always Be Delivering Outrageous Value.”

I believe leadership is something we all possess and can access to varying degrees. Whether you call it leadership, personal potential, authentic power or anything else, it is discovering and actualizing the power and greatness that lies inside of you. It’s about consciously choosing to never play small, because you know that you would not have the dreams you have unless you had the corresponding ability to make those dreams happen!

So whether born with or developed, here are 10 attributes I believe are essential to truly great leadership:

1. Integrity ~ Great leaders have impeccable integrity. They are crystal clear about their core values, and always operate with sound judgment and strength of character. Integrity exists when your inner values and outward actions are aligned. It’s about knowing what your core values are, and then shaping your life around those values. And I do mean YOUR core values, not some perceived expectation that someone else has placed on you. In fact, another gem I once heard Robin Sharma share, is that “the greatest pain a human being can suffer is the gap between who you truly are and who you currently are in the world.” He called it the “integrity gap”, or the gap between your authentic self and the social self that you’ve adopted through the years based on the limiting beliefs, behaviors and assumptions of the world around you. Ultimately, leadership is all about closing that gap.

2. Vision ~ Leaders have the ability to look ahead and see possibility. They have absolute clarity of vision. Yet it’s not enough to just have vision … Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric Co., said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Great leadership requires masterful communication that is clear, passionate, purposeful and contagious! The vision has to be more than just inspiring, it has to light a fire and inspire a Movement!

3. Self Mastery ~ You must be very clear as to what you intend to create, and then spend time every single day seeing those things as if they have already been fulfilled. Great leaders lock in on that vision every day, and build their mission and action plan accordingly. World class results require daily, purposeful practices that you integrate into your life to serve as your constant reminder of your vision.

For me, it is focusing on things that fuel my body, mind and spirit that allow me to serve on a greater and greater level. Activities such as daily meditation, exercise, yoga, organic and sustainable food, inspirational reading or listening, seminars and choosing to surround myself with like-minded, positive people who are supportive and also actively pursuing great things in their lives.

4. Decisiveness ~ Leaders never suffers from ‘analysis paralysis’. They get the facts, weigh them against one another, and calmly and quickly make sound decision. Leaders are deeply grounded in their core values, and therefore, decisiveness is second nature. Because of their integrity, vision and self-mastery, leaders are not prone to unpredictable actions. Decisiveness is what moves the vision forward, and while there will be times that a leader receives additional information that causes them to change their decision, it is important that their community respects them as someone who typically makes excellent decisions and stands by them.

5. Positive Expectancy ~ Great leaders are optimistic. I wrote a post about The Optimist’s Creed, which embodies the principles that great leaders live by. Leaders always see the glass half-full, because they operate from a place of faith, not fear. Positive Expectancy is all about faith in action! This quote from Brian Tracy highlights what this concept is all about. “Feeling confident and hopeful puts forth an invisible and powerful influence that causes people and situations to work out as planned. When you believe in the likelihood of positive outcomes, your performance will lead to favorable result. Once you believe that it is impossible to fail, you will act in spite of your fears and uncertainties.”

6. Selfless Service ~ Great leaders are not motivated by their own agenda, but the well-being of the collective team, community or group being led. Their joy comes from serving others and raising them up! The new model of leadership is very much about collaboration, and creating a place where people feel heard, supported, guided and safe. Great leaders build communities where people feel respected and cherished, and it is because of the leadership that the tribe trusts that this is a place to grow and prosper.

7. Unwavering Commitment ~ Leaders dedication is simply not questioned, because their vision is so clear and so great. Time and energy are ALWAYS available, and their enthusiasm can move mountains! This insatiable appetite comes from an understanding that they will never “arrive”, and that there is always more work to be done and a bigger difference that can be made. This “unscratchable itch” is what provides the level and quality of focus that is required of great leaders.

8. Adaptability ~ Leaders are great listeners and open to possibility that there could be a better way. They are non-reactive, yet as I mentioned, they know when it’s time to make a decision and can make it! Leaders can adapt to change because they have the keen ability to find openings where others see walls, as well as see opportunity before it arrives. And of course, they always have a team of trusted advisors or mastermind group to call on for opinions, but in the end, it is the leader who makes the final decision, which is then fully supported whether the group actually agrees with it or not.

9. Humility ~ Unfortunately, humility is one of those leadership traits you do not see as frequently as you should. It is often perceived as a weakness when, in fact, it can be a tremendous asset. The humble leader rarely allows the power of their position to cloud their judgment. Leaders give themselves permission to be human! They know not just their strengths but their weaknesses, and understand that they cannot lead an organization in an evolving world without evolving themselves. By recognizing their own imperfections and focusing on their own personal growth, the humble leader creates an environment where others feel comfortable taking chances and making mistakes.

10. Perseverance ~ I wrote a post a while back about the Power of Perseverance, where I shared a great story called “Shake It Off and Step Up”. Leaders possess this capacity! They have the fortitude to overcome any obstacles, perceived or real, because of the strength of their mindset and vision. Leaders understand that failure is part of the process, and use the hardships as lessons on the path to greatness.

So which of these traits do you feel you were born with, and which have you either intentionally cultivated, or know that you’d need to in order to step fully into the leadership necessary to achieve your dreams?

If you’d like, share in the comments, as I’m sure we can create a lively discussion on this topic! And as always, if you’ve benefited from this post, use the buttons at the top to share with you friends and followers on the various social sites.

To the Leader Within You!

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83 Responses to “Leadership ~ Nature vs. Nurture?”

  1. Hi Beth

    Truly an inspiring post.Nature Vs Nuture.
    I feel the 10 attribute mentioned in your post are all so important for one to truly be a great leader.
    Especially important for leaders to have their integrity and vision. Whether the leaders have it in them or acquire it through learning they must possess it as without it they will have no directions and core value.
    Integrity exists when your inner values and outward actions are aligned. This is so true…Yet another excellent post. Thanks Beth..
    Irene Pereira´s last blog post ..Building good relationship with friends and familiestakes time and patience

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Irene ~ yes, without integrity nothing else matters, in my opinion. Glad you enjoyed this post, and thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  2. Wow,
    That’s an awesome overview and picture of what Great Leadership looks like, Beth.

    If you actually look at the order you wrote these in, it seems the 10 traits follow a natural path of how to improve your leadership skills…
    I really liked the definition of integrity… I haven’t considered it in that way before. And that is naturally where leaders should start as they work to improve their self and their leadership skills.

    Great post!
    -James
    James Bennett @ Pro U´s last blog post ..The Servant

    [Reply]

  3. WOW Beth! There are so many things about leadership and that article helped me a lot! Thank you for sharing with us. To your success, John.
    John Mak´s last blog post ..Promotional Code for eDiets

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad to hear it, John!

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  4. Beautifully written Beth. For me it’s always been about leading by example. I’ve worked for some pretty smart people, but the one’s who inspired me were the one’s who never asked me to do something they weren’t willing to do themselves – and that’s they I’ve always lead.
    marquita herald´s last blog post ..Why You Need to Keep Those Monkeys off Your Back

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Marquita. :) Yes, when you have all these characteristics, people will naturally follow your example. Absolutely! Thanks for adding that, and for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  5. Calli
    Twitter: pwweddingfavors
    04. Jun, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Beth,

    Sometimes most people think that a leader is someone who is in the top position of a company, government, or organization. What we don’t often realize is that we can all lead even in a small way. We don’t have to own a big company or sit in the government to be a leader. :)

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely true. Leadership is about being an example that others are drawn to follow ~ it’s about casting hope and possibility ~ and yes, anyone can do that to varying degrees. Thanks for stopping by, Calli.

    [Reply]

  6. Beth,
    These are great attributes. Humiliation and perseverance are one of the reasons a lot of business adventures my hubby and I start don’t work out. I don’t want to fail (be embarrassed) and he lacks the perseverance. Thank you for sharing:
    Lynda´s last blog post ..Coupon Codes for Bistro MD

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    In response to your concern about being humiliated if you fail….just remember that nobody that succeeded got there without failing MANY times! It’s just part of the process ~ it’s how you choose to view those failures ~ will they eat you up or propel you to do better…do more….to success? As for the perseverance, perhaps your husband hasn’t found a cause he’s passionate about ~ because once you do, there is no other way to make the difference you want to make than to persevere. Best of luck to you both, Lynda!

    [Reply]

  7. Hi Beth,

    The concept of nature vs nurture is one I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

    If everything came from our ancestry, we would have no responsibility for our actions. In this case we would never grow. If all was learned, we would all have the same opportunities. That’s not true either.

    The Queen of England was born to lead, and many leaders knew they would do it from a very young age. I believe we can do what we dream about, but we have to take responsibility and do the hard yards to get there, or it doesn’t happen.

    This post has stirred me up a bit. You make great points and I agree with it all. It shows me I can take my leadership even further than I have so far.
    John Gaydon´s last blog post ..End Of The World As We Know It

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I completely agree with everything you’ve said here, John. At the end of the day, leadership HAS to be about personal responsibility and a willingness to go places others are unwilling. Thanks for sharing, and for stopping by.

    [Reply]

  8. Hello Beth,

    Very inspiring story you got here. Born into high-class status must be one of our dreams in this world. In this case, high-class means well-heeled, brainy and well-bred. But I think to be a great leader we just need two significant things: strong determination and ingenuity. I am an autodidact. Trial and error is my primary method to face this life. Thanks for sharing the story.
    Andrew Walker´s last blog post ..Vans Coupons

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Andrew. Strong determination and ingenuity…absolutely. From our exchanges so far, sounds like you are a very goal oriented and driven guy….and there’s nothing more admirable than a self-made man! :) Keep rockin…..

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  9. This is an interesting post. Yes, nature versus nurture. Not all things came from nature or from the ancestry. Some are acquired skills that have bee n developed along in life. Leaders are born, yes, some of them. But there are also leaders that are made by time and experiences.
    Junjun´s last blog post ..Everybody Lies- How can you tell if he is lying

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, some people are born into leadership roles, but ultimately, to be an effective leader takes acquiring these traits, time and experience. Absolutely. Thanks Junjun.

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  10. Beth,

    What a fantastic list of leadership qualities. Very precise. I personally like #7, the unwavering commitment. So important. I’ll be sharing this post with many.

    However, you might want to check your title. I think you meant to say “Nurture” instead of “Nuture.”

    Thanks for this post!

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk´s last blog post ..New USDA “My Plate” Assures Obesity Epidemic Alive and Well

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks for catching my typo Rick…..not like me, especially considering I was a copy editor in high school and typos drive me bonkers! :) All fixed now, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Thanks for passing it along!

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  11. Hi Beth,
    There was an interesting article in the Economist looking, bizarely, at the leadership qualities of Lady Gaga and Mother Theresa.
    Both have simple, clean brands, identified with outsiders, work hard, communicate well and both have charisma.
    Charlotte´s last blog post ..Chamonix

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I bet that was an interesting read! And I fully agree with what you said ~ simple clear brands, hard work, clear communication and yes, charisma! That should definitely be on this list, in fact, I wrote an entire blog post on charisma a while back. So this should have been my top 11….:) Thanks for visiting Charlotte!

    [Reply]

  12. Dereck
    Twitter: dereck_arreguin
    07. Jun, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Hey Beth,

    I can’t say that I was born with any of those traits, I think being a leader is almost situational. You kind of grow into it and choose to accept it or not.

    That’s just my take on it.

    One of the best leadership lines I like to reference from a movie (COOL RUNNINGS), the coach of the team was telling the leader of the bobsled team that a leader is the guy who is studying charts, eating right and staying up late to get the work done, while the others are out partying it up and so on.

    Be a leader is a responsibility. One that takes much courage to accept and provides much reward within relationships.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    -D
    Dereck´s last blog post ..Life Force International LFI Review – Body Balance Winning Formula

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I agree that leadership is a choice ~ most things we grow into are choices, even though it doesn’t always feel that way. I’ve never seen Cool Runnings, but will have to check it out. Being a leader is definitely about personal responsibility and courage. Glad you were inspired by this post. :)

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  13. Leadership is not an easy thing to achieve. For some leadership is inborn for some it is trained or nurtured. However, being a leader comes with a lot of things. Thank you for sharing this one. I have learned more about the essence of becoming a leader.
    dom´s last blog post ..Earning

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    bethallen Reply:

    I think it depends on the level of leadership you are seeking. Being a leader is about having a personal cause, or crusade, that propels you forward with relentless focus to see it through. And through your passion and action, you bring people along with you. As I shared in the Robin Sharma quote in the beginning, this can be people from ALL walks of life. It’s up to each of us to accept the mission and not let anything stop us! Thanks for visiting, Dom!

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  14. I do believe that the role of a leader has changed since I was young. My feelings are that leadership used to involve giving out orders and controlling employee’s actions at all times.

    That has all changed though. I was reading another article recently suggesting that the change can be termed as pull leadership rather than the old style push leadership.
    Trevor Barrett@Money Advice´s last blog post ..How Much Is The Federal Reserve Responsible For The Banking Crisis

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    bethallen Reply:

    It is always interesting to see how things change and evolve over time. I have heard the distinction between push and pull leadership, and am thrilled we are in the era of pull leadership! :) Thanks for sharing, Trevor!

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  15. Great post Beth. I used to drive my ex nuts when I spent time with the staff working through the procedures and steps that would make it easier for everyone up and down the chain of command. To me that initial little bit of time saved us (the team) so much frustration and/or time it was worth it being a leader with a team mentality.
    That point really resonated with me.
    Joyce Penner´s last blog post ..The biggest and best lesson I learned …

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Joyce ~ I agree. The little things that often go un-noticed or seem tedious are often what makes the greatest difference in the thick of operations. Way to stick to what you know would be best for your team! I’m glad you enjoyed this post, and thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  16. Hello Beth,

    I have found that some of the least likely people one would expect to become a leader, usually rise above the crowd.

    I think leader ship stems from something you are passionate about.

    As I observe the Cities who have experienced a weather related tradgey this year, I see all kinds of ordinary people taking on leadership roles, to help others pick up and move on with their life.

    Sometimes leadership is just getting others to believe more or better is possible. Getting them to believe in themselves and providing them with a little direction.
    willie@freedom to be your own boss´s last blog post ..Thou Shalt Not Spam- Online Marketings Golden Rule

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Great example of what I’m talking about Willie. Those people that step up as leaders in times of tragedy are propelled by a vision so clear, with a passion so strong, that they will move mountains to see it through. It’s too bad that it takes a tragedy for some to realize how much of an impact they can make, but I have a feeling moving forward they will be doing things with their life they never previously imagined. Or at least some of them ~ it’s hard not to fall back in to routines ~ but when you’ve changed lives on that level, I’d be hard put to just withdraw when I knew I could serve in a way that, like you said, gets others to believe more or better is possible. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts.

    [Reply]

  17. Wow Beth, Great content. In fact after reading it once I know I’ll be coming back several times to fully digest all you have to offer in this post. Beautifully written, full of much needed information,and full of positive guidance. Thank you for bringing quality information to your readers. I know I am looking forward to more!

    Cheers –
    Terrific Tonya Heathco
    National Seizure Disorders Foundation
    Terrific Tonya Heathco´s last blog post ..NSDF- Our Position in a World of Ignorance

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Tonya, glad you enjoyed it and glad to hear you’ll be back for more. :)

    [Reply]

  18. Adrian Campbell
    Twitter: adriancampbell7
    08. Jun, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Beth,

    I love you point on Adaptiveness. Having the ability to adapt to your situation or environment is such an important unlying quality of a good leader.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Adrian. Absolutely, if you can’t adapt to the changing needs and demands that inevitably arise around you, you simply will not be able to lead. So important!

    [Reply]

  19. What a great list of qualities to develop! I don’t really think I was born with any of them, except in minute amounts. But all of them are things I am working on now.

    You write with such warmth that I know you are wonderful to work with. Core values and considering the other person’s needs are so important.

    Willena Flewelling
    Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..ORGANIZED Knowledge is Power

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, isn’t it?! Sounds like you are doing some great work! :) And thank your kind words….very much appreciated Willena!

    [Reply]

  20. Yet another thing we have in common: Robin Sharma! I love his teachings! Been following him since 2008 :-).

    I love the quote you shared from Brian Tracy “Feeling confident and hopeful…” I would say that it’s an “affirmation” with respect to what our expectations in our daily lives are. #5 – Positive Expectancy is well written and defined – when we have this type of great expectancy and use it in our life, we will inevitably see our actions be great ones and then results extreme ones!

    Fear is another culprit holding many people back from achieving their dreams, using their full potential, and feeling fulfilled. But once that is eradicated, OH THE POSSIBILITIES!

    Love stopping by to read your articles Beth! Thanks for another GREAT one!

    -Jaclyn Castro

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Oh that’s awesome, Jaclyn! Yes, Robin Sharma rocks. He spoke at a convention for my company many years back, and I was hooked. :) I’m glad you got some great value from this post, and thanks for your continual support!

    [Reply]

  21. Beth, very nice to be back on your blog again. You always over deliver in your articles and while I don’t personally know you I would bet you do the same in life. As for your article, well what do I say. IT WAS GREAT. I enjoyed reading your ten tips of Leadership. Thanks for a refreshing positive and factual article.
    Ross Joyner´s last blog post ..Link Juice and authority sites

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Ross, glad to see you back! I really appreciate your kind words, and we should make that skype call happen finally! I am due with a baby in 3 weeks, so a bit strapped for extra time these days, but we’ll get there! :) Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  22. Probably not so important to resolve the nature nurture issue, as to develop the leadership qualities you’ve listed here despite your inclinations.

    Good pointers, Beth, and you have certainly lived them out yourself. Anybody who will have the success you’ve demonstrated MUST become a leader, whether they’re a born leader, a well trained one, or even a pretend one. After all, what we pretend often and long enough… we DO become.
    David Merrill´s last blog post ..Can You Really Profit From Internet Marketing

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you David, great to “see” you around again! And you are too kind. And yes, pretending is intending, right? It has to start with believing that we are whatever we are seeking. That is the only way! Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. Hi Bathe, All great points here and explanations of each. I just need to take a few and focus, focus, focus. Thanks

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    As a person with many passions and many different hats, I can relate to the focus, focus, focus bit! That’s why I’m also a huge fan of time management…..it keeps me on point and able to spend time on all the areas that are important for me to create the results I desire. Thanks for visiting, Bill!

    [Reply]

  24. Beth,

    Your list may seem daunting to someone who desires to be a leader. If we had to begin from “scratch,” it would indeed be a monumental task! However, many of those characteristics are developed at a very young age through deliberate or (more often) accidental child rearing influences.

    They are probably mostly due to nurture and environment. They were accumulated gradually during our childhood and were therefore less overwhelming than they seem now. We can be grateful for the positive influences we were blessed with, and we can choose to “play the hand that is dealt to us” by our own intentional actions.
    Buddy Hodges@social media relationships @networking online´s last blog post ..Is it What You Know- or Who You Know that Counts

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Great point, Buddy. My hope was not to have it seem daunting, but to bring to light that we likely naturally have many of these traits to greater or lesser degrees, and by honestly assessing where we’re at and where we want to be, we can focus on cultivating the skills we need. :)

    [Reply]

  25. Hey Beth,

    Comprehensive, yet concise post on leadership. Awesome!

    Although I haven’t had the chance to follow Robin Sharma, I’ve always enjoyed John C. Maxwell’s penetrating insights and practical applications on enhancing one’s leadership qualities.

    Once you get in the skin of a leader, it’s a thrilling ride indeed, arguably rivaling that of behind-the-wheel adrenaline!

    Yasser
    Yasser Khan´s last blog post ..Not Enough To Go Around Think Again

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Yasser! I love John C. Maxwell as well….but definitely check Robin Sharma out. He is so grounded and zen about his approach to leadership and life and I think you’d really enjoy him based on what I know about you. :) And while I’m an adrenaline junkie, I’m not the behind the wheel kind (be safe please!), I”m more the jump out of planes and off bridges type. ;) Ah the thrill of the flight!

    [Reply]

  26. That’s one great article on leadership. I like the detailed explanation on each of these points. This has surely been helpful for me.
    Cheolsu@Orkut Login´s last blog post ..Orkut Login

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Cheolsu, glad you found the post helpful and thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  27. Beth – Wonderful post here. I really enjoyed your quote from Robin. The 10 attributes are things I’m working toward improving in myself everyday. Leadership is a choice.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Debi, glad you enjoyed it and glad to hear you’re working at improving and owning your own leadership skills! Keep rockin! :)

    [Reply]

  28. I think you may have missed something. What about resourcefulness?

    You have covered it a bit in adaptability, but it’s more to do with people.

    What about seeing opportunities as they come, rather than planning them out in advance as you say with “vision”?

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Michelle ~ I’m sure there are many other great attributes of leadership that I could have added, this was just my top 10. :) But yes, resourcefulness is essential, and I do think it fits in with adaptability. It’s about having creative ways to adjust to a given scenario ~ about using what’s available to you and seeking that which is not so that you can overcome obstacles and best serve and support your tribe. Thanks for your contribution!

    [Reply]

  29. Brandon Wraith
    Twitter: BrandonWraith
    21. Jun, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Hey Beth,

    Although I do believe leadership can be groomed into a person from birth. That does not take away from the fact that you can wire it into your own way of life.

    I myself am becoming more leadership oriented by instilling the 7 habits of highly effective people into my life. It will be quite a journey.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Brandon Wraith
    Knowledge is POWER

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, I believe it’s about taking what we are given and committing to become more and better each and every day. The 7 habits are proven to take you far….you are so wise for your age and I’m thrilled to know you as you move along your journey, Brandon! :)

    [Reply]

  30. Kevin Martineau
    Twitter: KevinMartineau
    22. Jun, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Hi Beth:

    I believe I was born with #6 Selfless service. I truly love serving people.

    The one that I have had to be more intentional about is #3 self-mastery. With the help of a life coach I have been growing in this area.

    Thanks for this excellent post!
    Kevin

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    That is an awesome one to be born with, Kevin! We all know that when we operate from a place of service, EVERYTHING in our life becomes more abundant and vibrant. :) Glad to hear you are taking on the self-mastery….I have always worked with coaches for this area as well for the accountablity and fresh perspective. Service and self- mastery….watch out world! :)

    [Reply]

  31. Hi Beth,
    Nice post.I like the traits of a leader you mentioned.I think leaders are not born but there are people who have potential.For me the most important part of a leader is having Man-Management skill and since it is a skill,so this means it can be acquired with practice and experience.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Shivam. I’m assuming you just mean management skills? not man-management …. that would be an entirely different conversation! ;) Yes, that is definitely a skill that comes with practice and experience. I do agree that whatever level we are born with these traits innately within us, that does not mean leadership will result. It deifnitely sets a person up for an easier journey to make the difference they desire to make should they accept the role of a leader, but you are right, it is only potential that must be acted upon. Thanks for contributing your thoughts!

    [Reply]

  32. Hi Beth,

    What a beautiful picture of leadership! There were several things I thoroughly appreciated about your post. Among them was the quote that a leader goes out into the world every day to make it better, and does not work simply for self, but for others. Sounds like a calling to me!

    I also love the optimistic trait. We can certainly gain more by being optimistic and grateful, than we can by being pessimistic and driving people away.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you Pastor Sherry! Yes, I love that quote as well, and truly believe great leaders DO act based on a calling bigger than themselves. Absolutely! I also love the optimistic part ~ you should really check out the optimist’s creed I referenced, it’s wonderful. :) Thanks for visiting!

    [Reply]

  33. Beth…totally love this post. I agree people can be nurtured into being leaders. While some may have a little more outgoing personality, like you wrote – they may lack the vision to truly be a leader.

    I also love and will carry with me ABDOV – awesome quick way to come back to the center/core of being authentic. Wow, I have so many other things to say about this post. Your top 10 was awesome and on of the characteristics that I feel is the critical in live and business is Integrity. It is a value I place highly in my life.

    I can’t wait to come back and visit. VaNessa

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Awesome, glad to hear it VaNessa! I love what you said about ABDOV ~ it really is a great acronym, almost a mantra of sorts, to say and ground ourselves in the present moment of our authenticity, and we know the more often we operate from that place, the more results and fulfillment we’ll achieve. :) And yes, placing integrity at the center of it all is, in my opinion, where it begins and where it ends. Thanks for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  34. I like the Sharma quote. Anybody… actually EVERYBODY can be a leader.

    It’s not about an elite group of overachievers “leading” everybody else around by the nose. It’s about leaders being leaders by doing all the things you listed here, and then encouraging anybody who wants to duplicate their actions to do the same in their own unique way.

    The ideal is that if everyone’s a leader, we don’t have… or need… followers.

    Thanks for the thoughtful list of leadership qualities, Beth. It’s always helpful to be reminded of the best ways to go about “doing” what it is that makes us all leaders.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, Robin Sharma is an awesome and inspiring man and leader for sure. That’s interesting what you say about not needing followers if everyone’s a leader. I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on that. At first read, I don’t agree. I think everyone can lead, and everyone should also be followers of causes and such they believe in and want to rally to support. I’m glad you enjoyed this list, David, and great to see you again! :)

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  35. Excellent post Beth.

    I too have spent a lot of time in this topic, as have so many who have commented before me.

    Another book that I have found very helpful and inspiring is Dr John Maxwell, “Talent is Never Enough”. In this book he outlines how to maximize your talents and become even better!

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  36. Smashing post Beth,

    I think our own sense of responsibility and holding ourselves accountable has a lot to do with leadership too. The skills of leadership can be learn as with all skills…

    Enjoy the rest of the week, we have beautiful sunshine here… this week I am in England :)

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  37. Great post, Beth! I think that my strongest leadership trait is perseverance. I can stick with things to a fault, but I’ve been a big believer in the adage that it’s better to stick with something too long than not long enough. I think that positive expectancy is definitely my weakest point, but it is one where I have gotten a lot better. Like Stephen Covey reminds us in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, once you learn these, and start to apply them, you have to keep doing it. This way, you will start with a better and better base each time you do, so you will continue to grow.

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  38. Hi Beth,

    Wow, what a comprehensive list! I agree with Peter in that if one were to look at this list from the perspective of starting from scratch, it would seem quite daunting.
    I also believe however, that many of the traits you discuss are developed from youth. That is not to say that we can’t learn to enhance or further develop inherent leadership skills but that it is perhaps more challenging for those who haven’t had the nurture or environment to support them.

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  39. Hi Beth!

    There are so many article about leadership, and your article had great help for me…Thank you for sharing with us…Love to hear more from you…

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  40. Integrity, I think, is the quality in which all leaders should be founded on. We get to acquire this at a very young age. And it’s very hard to adapt this if we grew up with the wrong practices. So in a way, leaders are born. It’s up to the person if he or she decides to develop the other qualities in order to become a true leader.

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  41. Hi Beth
    This is really good information although somewhat daunting. I will have to read it over a few times and then ponder upon your 10 points to see how I measure up. thanks for writing such a good article.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Yes, this can seem daunting, but when you re-read it, think about all the places you already do embody each trait. You might be surprised to see that some you already excel at! And then others might need a little work, and yet others a lot …. but at least you’ll have a clear picture of where you’re at and what you can work on to continue growing as the leader you are. :) Thanks for stopping by Jenna!

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  42. Hi Beth,
    It is very nice and inspiring post on leadership.Thanks for sharing 10 attributes that are essential for great leadership.This post is helpful for many readers/.
    waterpearls´s last blog post ..VisiVite Coupon

    [Reply]

  43. Hi Beth,
    I found your post very informative on leadership and the attributes you have shared are very helpful in achieving good leadership.Thanks for sharing your post with us.
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..Puritan Coupon – Review

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  44. Really interesting post, and the nature vs nurture question has always intrigued me not just with respect to leadership but to many other things! I know personally I find it hard to show leadership as I am quite introverted but I shall bear some of these in mind. Btw you haven’t posted for a while hope you post again soon!

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  45. My dad was a natural-born leader. He was the youngest of six children, but all my life he was the person who others looked up to and relied on to get things moving. The only trait he did not have was adaptability, and this actually harmed him in a few circumstances.
    alanc230´s last blog post ..Multiple Streams of Income From a Single Great Idea

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  46. A great leader must have passion. If you don’t have passion for your vision, you need to recreate your vision or reframe your description of your vision so it’s connected to your passion.

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  47. Wow Beth!Totally informative post.I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!!I have bookmarked it already.

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  48. It is the difference between having potential & realising that potential. Many are born with talent and never use it. Yet sheer hard work can lift us above average even though our innate talent may not be so great.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely, Charlie! Thanks for stopping by. :)

    [Reply]

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