posted on: 8/28/2011 11:27:15 PM EST
Teaching And Training—Can Leadership Be Learned?
allen daniels, leadership

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Leadership is thought by many people to be a natural ability—something that people are born to do. But if you think back to famous leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it seems doubtful that they were born ready to lead this country to greatness. Though the nature of leadership s the subject of much debate, the answer lies perhaps somewhere in the middle. Leadership skills are genetically acquired, yes, but they cannot be used properly without leadership training.

Time To Be Taught

Although there are some skeptics, the fact is that leadership can, in fact, be taught. Normally, when one hears of leadership training, they conjure images of business seminars and teamwork activities. However, these types of events relate more to management rather than leadership. True leadership can only be taught through other types of leadership training.

One type of leadership training is the most common in the nation—college! Though this may seem too typical to be true, the fact is that many colleges, such as the University of Chicago, offer leadership classes as a part of their political science departments. Other schools, such as West Point, offer students opportunities to become real life leaders early on. This type of leadership training is some that you can't get anywhere else.

Hands-on experience is another form of leadership training. Internships and job experience can provide excellent training in leadership. However, since you are still under the supervision of the actual leader, there is no pressure and room to make mistakes. This kind of training provides the best of both words.

Guidance Makes All The Difference

Some skills are God-given, like organization, extroversion and people skills. However, these alone cannot make a good leader. What makes all the difference is leadership training. Leadership training will allow you to not only add to these skills, but also refine and develop them so that they can be used in real-world situations.

The development of these skills provides a broad based knowledge of leadership, the benefits of which far outweigh those of specific topics. The knowledge of specific topics is necessary for a follower, as the knowledge of how followers should work together is more important for a leader.

Leading The Way

Leadership training can help those who were born with leadership abilities to become better leaders, and those who were not to develop the leadership skills they need. Training is not a guarantee of success but rather it ensures that those born with the potential to lead are given the tools to lead.

Allen Daniels

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