“Are good leaders born or made?” A colleague posed this question the other day when we gathered for another episode of her 10-min #QuickHits conversation "designed to exercise your brain by letting you listen in on an unscripted conversation to get other people's thoughts on various subjects."
At first, I thought about how some of us are just natural leaders. Born with certain magnetism, charisma, and a knack to attract, influence, inspire people.
And others, maybe not so much naturally but can choose to work on leadership and communication skills, management skills, and all the other “requirements” that the society has decided makes a good leader.
Then I thought about my personal experience from my first-ever job interview in Corporate America more than a decade ago…
The recruiter was sitting on the opposite side of a large boardroom table, sure of himself and his achievement in the Royal Navy in the British Army.
With a smirk on his face, he glanced at my resume, and asked, “Why were you only a team co-captain? Were you not good enough of a leader to be a captain all by yourself?”
And even though every fiber of my being was telling me to get up and leave that conversation, “be a good girl, be polite, just smile” prevailed.
Recalling this experience further jogged my memory. It brought up a recent article published by the Harvard Business Review titled “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?” written by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.
I know that thousands of pages have been written on the topic and hours of conversations have taken place, but there was just something about the topic - and a T-shirt with "I am not bossy, I have leadership skills" printed on it that I saw on my friend's daughter that day...
As a former elite athlete (Slovenia National Team, and NCAA D-1 College team captain), as well as a premier online business manager and consultant turned master life coach and mindset expert, this topic hits home as I continue working with those women in leadership who are not only capable and interested but ready and willing to break that ceiling – and do so in a new, different way.