The question is often debated as to whether we can teach and train people to be leaders. It’s a silly question. Of course, we can. With the right coaching and feedback, we can teach and train each other to do almost anything. And, like any other endeavor, results will vary for the same investment of time and effort.
What stakeholders are really asking is, “Can we teach and train anyone and everyone to produce the same results in the same situations using the same tools and programs?” In other words, “is there an easy way to create great leaders?” The answer to that is also easy; No.
People are individuals who start in different places and have different learning appetites and needs. Plus, no two situations are ever exactly the same, so even if all other aspects of two leaders are equal, results will still vary.
Here’s an example:
Person A starts with a huge garden plot, good soil, clean air and water, new tools and equipment, and easy access to markets and everything else for making a produce business thrive. Person B has a small plot, a few hand tools, no resources to speak of, and no easy access to markets.
Person A has started with an advantage. If they have even a modicum of talent for running a produce business, there is a decent chance they will turn a profit. The same level of talent for Person B will not net the same results.
However, if Person B has a talent for some aspect of the endeavor, a green thumb or easy grace in wooing customers and distributors, and a heaping dose of tenacity, it is conceivable that they will do as well as Person A, who lacks those talents.
The translation here is that some people do indeed have talents that lend themselves to effective leadership. Some of these people will need little training. People who have less “talent” for leadership, may have other tools to draw on, such as talents for tenacity or connection. However, in order for them to leverage those talents, they may require more training and specific guidance.
Your organization needs a diverse set of talents within its leadership structure, and all of those leaders need support. Provide them that, and they will thrive.
Jason starts his Hidden Leader Expedition soon. Go to JasonMartinPresents.com/expedition to learn more and follow his journey. How leaders balance transparency and confidentiality is one of many themes he’ll be exploring with these Hidden Leaders.