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Leadership: Why Successful People Aren't Always Successful Leaders?

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult. - Warren Bennis

People assume that if someone is successful, it is because they have good leadership skills. People think that if a business is successful, it is because it has good leaders. Leadership is not particularly easy to pass on to other people. Sometimes a company is successful because a past leader was a very skilled leader, and the current leader has kept things running the same as before.

Outstanding leadership is a rare skill. For most people, it does not come naturally. It is incredible how organizations are successful even though they have only marginally competent people. At times, this is because the organization's structure helps make up for a leader's shortcomings. Sometimes it is because an exceptionally talented staff makes up for the leaders' deficiencies.

Any leadership development training should consider the basic facts, which should be made available to the individual concerned for developing his leadership skills and techniques.

The training or program must deal with deliberations on leadership and not limit the understanding of the term to its limited sense. Any reference to conventional typecast leadership should be shunned. The training should also incorporate a comprehensive understanding of leadership virtues applicable to individual requirements and highlight the subtle differences between leadership and management.

The program should also consider people's attitudes toward the leader's individual qualities. It is imperative that leadership development training should be ideally structured about the advancement of the individuals concerned instead of looking for strengths in personal attributes.

While excellent leadership skills can make someone successful, the inverse is invalid. Being successful does not make you a good leader. If you are looking for leaders to learn from, make sure you are looking for people with good leadership skills, not just someone successful. You cannot assume someone is a good leader just because they have succeeded. At times, people try to emulate people who have had success and try to follow their leadership styles. While this might be a good thing, people often end up mimicking the unhealthy habits of individuals.

The leadership development training also tries to clarify that those collective requirements are of greater importance than individual necessities. Leadership development training tries to develop an individual's quality to see a vision, look into the future, and build his ambitions and aspirations.

One crucial virtue such training emphasizes is that potential leaders should be able to see how details fit into the big picture. Such training also stresses the need to have an attitude that helps one view things from the point of view of other individuals and understand the most suitable approach.

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