[May 06, 2014] We all know leaders who from a young age had the “gift.” The gift of being able to get others to do things they would not normally do. But what we often don’t pay much attention to is the development of leaders over time. We simply believe they are who they are and that is it.
Yet, leadership is a process that develops in spurts over time and is certainly not linear in its development. Leaders don’t improve at a steady rate over time, but improve as they adapt to random stressful events in their lives. Leaders certainly are not perfect and certainly do not perform perfectly on short notice.
Consistency of leadership is important but we know they do change and their value as a leader changes as they successfully move into larger and more complex organizations. What this means is that a great leader was not always a great leader but someone who made important advancements at important times in their lives.
Most of the greatest leaders failed at important things in their lives. President Abraham Lincoln for example did very poorly in early political elections and was harshly criticized. The list of leader failures is endless for great leaders. They tried and failed but also tried and succeeded.
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