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Are Leaders Born, Made or Appointed?

OK, so I might push some buttons here but let’s face it, too many people are catapulted into positions of leadership by virtue of being there…already being in an organization, meeting hiring quotas according to gender etc. But are they leaders? And can they lead a staff, an organization successfully?

OK, so I might push some buttons here but let’s face it, too many people are catapulted into positions of leadership by virtue of being there…already being in an organization, meeting hiring quotas according to gender etc. But are they leaders? And can they lead a staff, an organization successfully?

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I agree that leaders can be made and many, put into positions to lead in times of crisis for example show their true colors (to themselves and others) and just fly. Others don’t even have managerial skills never mind organizational leadership skills and kill the staff one employee at a time. Retention becomes a myth and people run out the door as fast as they can.

So if you’re thinking of promoting a relative just because they’re a part of the family and you trust them, or someone from within because it meets your quota, think good and hard at the cost of that move. Statistics are blatant and the cost to your organization is huge!

For example, for people who make $150,000 a year, the financial expense for wasting time due to lack of leadership, absenses, people leaving and having to be replaced etc. runs in the range of $25,350. No, that’s not per year, it’s per month! If there are multiple cases like this, well, you get the picture.

Choose your leaders wisely. Make sure they’re a good fit not only for the organization but its internal culture. I share this criteria with my clients when they’re looking to fill leading positions and ask them “Which category is each person (who is competing for the job) in?

1. Will the staff be dependent on that person to get the job done (inter-dependent)? 2. Will the staff develop by working with that leader (inter-developmental)? or 3. Will the relationship between staff and this leader be inter-magical? i.e. the energy and passion within the organization will be tangible. People will want to work there and with this individual because they know they’ll fly and will fight to work with this person.

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Who do you want in your organization? Someone who creates the inter-magical or someone who’s convenient?

Donna Karlin • Executive and Political Shadow Coach™ • Ottawa, Canada • donnakarlin@abetterperspective.comwww.abetterperspective.com

About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence.

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