Leaders are not born, they are made

1.Whether in a formal position, at work or in private, our influence on others is more significant than we think. It may be your today’s courageous example that inspires somebody else even years later to do the right thing as well.

2.To be a leader means to be a continuous learner, and learners are readers.

3.While leadership theories as a relatively young science are becoming ‘smarter,’ there is also ancient and timeless leadership wisdom based on ‘kindness.’

4.Against persistent myths: Leaders are not born, they are made.

5.Do not let you blend by the ‘halo effect’ to conclude that people being good or powerful in one area might be consequently amazing in other areas too.

6.Adapt your leadership style according to the situation and development phase of the people needing direction, coaching, support, or delegation.

7.While transactional leaders make today better by rewarding good performance, transformational leaders are focused on making tomorrow better too.

8.For personal charisma, develop your emotional and social intelligence. As a visionary leader, learn how to visualize an attractive and ideal future that inspires others to follow their heart.

9.A majority of employees is disengaged. Increased participation is required to move beyond consumer behavior. Only with emotional and economic co-ownership will people assume more responsibility/accountability.

10.The administration of existing businesses often leaves little room for leadership that involves the creation of new meaning and change. Differentiate a position-based management career requiring short-term profitability goals versus a self-guided leadership desire to make a difference beyond market considerations in the long-term. You always can be a leader!

11.Always re-evaluate your beliefs in symbols and rules, don’t assume, don’t judge, and listen to people for who they truly are. That’s how you can empower yourself and others to become more free, understanding, and creative.


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About mathias sager

Independent researcher, artist, social entrepreneur, and leadership and strategy advisor I was born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. The last six years I lived in Tokyo, and currently, I’m staying in Pune/India. I love open-minded people everywhere and the passion to working relentlessly for developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work. I have extensive experience in leadership and management, organizational psychology research, and learning & development practice. I have worked as a teacher, a leadership trainer, as well as a senior manager responsible for client relationships, counseling, and virtual teams around the world. Also, I’m a social entrepreneur and serving as a strategy and leadership advisor in different ways. My goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for the people’s individual well-being and common good alike. Continuously learning himself and keen to help, I appreciate any questions or feedback you may have at any time. Please connect here on any social media, as well as per direct email goodthings@mathias-sager.com.
  • Hi Mathias, you always create content that makes me reflect. Thanks! In particular this time I would appreciate if you could elaborate more.

    • mathias sager says:

      Hello! Thank you very much for your comment and pardon for the late response.
      By saying that ‘Leaders are not born, they are made’ I am pointing to the same myth as with talents. Societies still glorify so-called talents and leaders as being luckily born with all it requires to be where and what they are. Such thinking opens the door to use external factors that we cannot influence as excuses. Of course, for some people, it may take more time to achieve the same in certain areas. However, key factors are whether we get the education, put in the effort, and whether the results conform to the contemporary measurement of success.
      Without followers, there are no leaders. So, leaders are made by their followers and by the need for an according type of leader. There exist many different leadership styles that can be more or less successful depending on the situation. There is no agreement in research findings regarding which traits are generally and found in charisma and leaders and which characteristics are consistently more important than others.
      Please let me know what further aspect would be helpful to shed more light on.
      Thank you and all the best

      • Hi Mathias! I had a similar discussion with regard to being an entrepreneur. One interesting fact with regard to becoming an entrepreneur (as opposed of being born as an entrepreneur) is that the rate of success is higher if this entrepreneur aligns the venture with his/her life style. For instance, creating a venture that it is based on one’s passions or hobbies.

        Have you observed that “made” leaders are more successful if they are immerse in environments that are aligned with their life style? One example that comes to my mind is Bill Gates. Despite the lack of skills as leader he became very successful.

      • mathias sager says:

        Thank you for your comments. Indeed, the more an enterprise is reflecting one’s passion, the more effort is put into it and the more authentic (and therefore effective) it will likely be. There is also emerging research related to person-culture/environment-fit. For example, the match between one’s personality and the personality tendencies of a city seems to be predictive of entrepreneurial success.
        Overall though in my opinion, personality factors, situational constellations, and leadership effectiveness/success definitions are so diverse that it is difficult to see clear patterns. Also, 90 percent of leadership research is related to corporate settings; what about other sectors and types of leadership like NPOs, family, communities, etc.?

  • Absolutely true. Sheer determination and true perseverance makes a leader.

  • This is the whole concept behind R.O.T.C.