Leaders are made not born (here’s 7 reasons)

If you ever wondered if you had what it took to be a leader, there’s a good chance that you’ve already shown that you have the potential to be one.  The truth we will uncover is that leaders are made and not born. In spite of this reality, there’s usually a nagging thought in the back of our minds telling us that we’re not good enough and we don’t have what it takes to be leaders.  

I want to help you get over that struggle in your leadership journey and clear the path before you, so that you can  move on to become the leader that you’re meant to be. Let me be clear.  Leaders are made not born.  There, I got it out of my system.  The developing leader will be more fit to lead than the person who people call a “natural born leader.”

I was able to build my 6-figure transportation business because of the thoughts I am about to share with you.  I know what I’m talking about because I literally wrote the book on Leadership.  So, enough about me.  Let’s get into it.

What about the Natural Born Leaders?

It’s no secret that there are some children who seem to start their leadership journey from a very young age.  Whether it is in daycare or kindergarten, we see these emerging powerhouses in tiny frames seemingly take over the world.  Or at least the sandbox. 

We think to ourselves, “How do they know to lead at such an early age?”  While it is noble to admire their ability to persuade the crowd and have their way, this same attribute of taking charge as a child can often be seen as something else entirely.  Have you ever heard a child say that a particular classmate or friend is acting kind of bossy? 

Of course we have. I say leaders are made and not born because although they seem to get the job done.  Although they get people to do what they want them to do, iIt often leaves a sour taste in the mouths of other children.  And this is because they’re getting people to do what they want by pushing them around. Sometimes barking out orders To make sure everyone knows that they’re in charge.  That’s not leadership.  That is tyranny.  There is a big difference.  

What is Leadership?

Now that we know there is a difference between leadership and tyranny we have to ask ourselves what is leadership?  I love Dwight Eisenhower’s definition of leadership. He was the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces during World War II.  That was a big deal because the allied nations trusted his leadership.   

Different countries came together and placed their faith and soldiers in his leadership.  He said that leadership is, “getting other people to do what you want because they want to do it.”  

This definition is powerful because it shows the two elements of leadership.  One of the elements is influence. Obviously, you can see that demonstrated in the part of the quote, “Get them to do what you want them to do.”  

But the part that is profound and most amazing is, “ Because they want to.”  You know how the iceberg only shows you a little tip of itself above the water?  This is how leadership is.  There’s a huge unspoken conversation about why that individual would want to do what you want them to do. 

This is the aspect of leadership that we want to focus on.  This is the part of leadership that I believe truly makes someone a leader. Anyone can coerce or force a person to do what they want them to do.  A leader, on the other hand, knows how to unlock the power of the individual’s will so that the person surrenders their effort, energy and passion to the cause of the leader. 

Limitation of born leaders

Unfortunately that child in preschool does not have the mental capacity to understand or respect such a glorious leadership principle.  So, the only way they know how to get what they want is to force or scream others into compliance.

The problem is that once this child sees success by using these tactics of force, they start to believe that this is the right way to get people to do what they want them to do.  This is why natural born leaders do not develop into great leaders just by nature.  They usually have to learn somewhere in their journey of becoming a leader that you cannot just scream at everyone.  The sooner they learn this the quicker they can get to the best part of their best day in leadership.

Made leaders win in the end

Now let’s look at a leader who learned through life experience what is needed to lead. How did they do that?  Before they lead others, they served first.  The truth is that once you learn to serve well, you will know how to lead well.  Here is the secret.  Leading is about serving others.  

That’s it right there.  That is the vast underside of the iceberg.  That is the part of leadership that gets people to do what you want them to do, “because THEY want to.”  It’s because the leader has first proven to all that they are willing to serve every member of the team.  This service inspires a humbling response of sacrifice in the lives of those who follow the leader.   

The best leaders are those who serve.  You learn to serve by being under someone else’s leadership.  Did the word under offend you?  I hope it didn’t.  It’s important to be okay with not being the head chief all the time.  There is dignity in serving a leader.  Our society has tainted the beauty of serving because everything that is invented these days is created to serve us and through them we only learn to serve ourselves.  

This is an important mental hurdle that each leader has to overcome in their own journey because you will need to know that there is dignity in serving and supporting a leader.  When you begin to respect the need for team members and supporters, you will carry that honor for their effort and contribution with you into your leadership position.  So, the leader who learns how to serve others through support and contribution becomes a much better leader than the person who was able to boss other kids around the playground.

So what makes a good leader?

If leaders are made and not born, how then do we become leaders?  I believe good leaders Possess certain qualities that cause other people to follow them.

Complete conviction

Regardless of the cause that you are leading, you better be the person who believes in it more than the people you are called to lead because you are the one who sets the tone for everyone else’s actions.


The leader is usually the anchor to the team and the one who brings everyone back to the things that matter. It is easy for people to get distracted by external factors or even internal factors like arguing with each other or doubting the plan because of what is happening outside. The leader has to be focused.

Clear vision

Habbakuk 2:2 “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.”  The leader is the person who is not just thinking about today or where we are now. They are thinking about the direction that we are going in and the future that is yet to be.


As a leader, you are committed to not only guiding your team but caring for your team.  So it is important to have a helpful attitude and be ready to assist those who assist you


No one is perfect but a leader is aware that his or her actions are public and therefore will come under scrutiny. People will follow an individual who appears to live a stand up life.


As a leader, It’s important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Try not to have double speech. Or secret gossip about others behind their back because these things Work against you to dissolve the culture of positivity and unity that your organization needs.


It’s been said that a good leader doesn’t ask anyone for a hand unless they ask for their heart. Leaders know that in order to get the best of people They have to genuinely care for people.


If you’re still with me up until now, you’re on your way to a great leadership journey.  I’m glad we were able to shoot down the myth that you have to be a natural in order to lead.  I was encouraged when I learned that I could learn to become a great leader.  I want you to tell me, “Do you have what it takes to be a leader?”

If you are ready to become a great leader, you’ve come to the right place.  I wrote a book, Develop Winning Leadership In 31 Days, and I coach good leaders on how to refine their leadership edge to become great leaders.  If you’re interested in leadership coaching, set up a free discovery call with me.  I wish you the best on your leadership journey.

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3 months ago

I’ve come across many blogs, but this one truly stands out in terms of quality and authenticity Keep up the amazing work!

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