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Natural Leader?

In addition to mapping the personal, managerial and professional characteristics of candidates throughout the Search process, we can often be asked:

Is Leadership Innate or Learned?

Recent scientific studies suggest that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% learned. These findings propose that leaders are made, not born. The conclusion of such studies is that both hold true: a person can be born with natural leadership abilities, and someone can learn how to be a good leader at work.

Are theory and practice the same? In reality, they are not. So why is it important, how does it work, which roles require which type of leadership and what is the added value in assessing an existing management team?

Driving a RV bus on a F1 circuit is as inefficient as going on a 3 week-long camping road trip with your family in a v16 GT Roadster. Choosing the right vehicle is essential and can determine your result in the race. The analogy applies when choosing between natural or learned leadership.

As I discussed the replacement of the CEO with one of my clients, the owner stated, “You know us, our values, our business. We simply want the best from the market. We want a Natural Born Leader.”.

I know my client well enough to have a clear picture of his autocratic view of leadership and weariness of critical questions about the role.

I’ve seen so many owners and C level managers make disastrous decisions – and all of them because there was not a single person on their team that dared question their strategy.

And this is when our job begins.

In my view, we must build the kind of relationship with our clients where we can have the courage to oppugn and articulate our opinion.

We must never be afraid to challenge our clients honestly and openly.

Bence Berkó
Senior Consultant, Budapest

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