Develop your leadership skills

April 18, 2024 By    

Were you born for this, or did you end up here?

There are two schools of thought about true leaders. One camp will say that leaders are made and that any one of the 7.88 billion people walking this planet can be a leader if given the right circumstances and opportunities. The other camp believes that leaders are born. It is a genetic or inherent predisposition to take the front line and inspire people.

As political as it may sound, I actually believe in both.

We looked at this last month when we talked about the twists and turns and roads less traveled that have brought us to our current positions in life or business.

However you arrived where you are today, a question may linger in the back of your mind: Am I really a leader, or did some external force push me into where I stand in society?

There are some among us who naturally take charge. We look at situations and see solutions, then gravitate toward the front. We feel somewhere deep inside, almost viscerally, that is our role to fill. We still take direction, but we need to have a voice. It is in our DNA. We have ideas and input to share.

However, inexperience and ramshackle leadership can create negative outcomes for those following that leader. As you read that last sentence, many can think of that individual who has good ideas or solutions, but the delivery of these ideas is so poorly communicated that it falls flat on its face.

Therefore, any leader who has the guttural desire to be at the front of the group is beholden to a higher power to cultivate and develop those skills to the best of their ability. This includes not only the skills internal to themselves but the skills of those in the group that they lead.

If you feel that you were born to be a leader, then supporting that innate desire to lead needs to be buttressed with education, self-development and communication.

If you were taught to be a leader, you had training, education and mentoring, but where does your desire to lead originate? Perhaps you followed a poor leader and want to prove to yourself that you can be better than your predecessor. Maybe you want to be the first in your family to hold a title of leader, as a social standing. Or could it be the status and compensation that drives you to be in charge? It makes you feel powerful.

Whichever path brought you here, you are here. Now let’s work on making you the best leader that you can be.

In the coming months, we will share and hopefully discuss a number of ways to improve your skills as a leader. A bit of a roadmap, if you will, surrounding techniques, resources and positions of the mind that have worked for me and for those leaders whom I admire and aspire to emulate.

Let’s work on your upgrade.

Aaron Huizenga is East Division manager for Lakes Gas in Wisconsin. Reach him at

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