In my class this week with a group of 25 university students in Munich, I am struck by the deeply ingrained concept that leadership is destined for a select few, that leadership ability is somehow the product of some innate divine gift.
In fact, students like to argue with my assertion that remarkable achievement in any field (whether we are talking about Tiger Woods, Barack Obama, Mozart, or Lance Armstrong) is more the result of practice than talent. They like to respond, “but come on, these people were born with something special, and it is their ‘gift’ that led to their greatness”.
In spite of all the research telling us that talent is an overrated concept, that high achievement is not the result of talent or genius but much more about training and deliberate practice, most of society still believes that leadership ability is a gift granted to relatively few individuals.
So, we are talking a lot this week about how you can take charge of your own leadership training. More specifically, just how does the concept of ‘deliberate practice’ apply to leadership training or to becoming a leader? Can we train these things? If leadership is more about becoming than about doing, who do we have to become and how do we get there?
Not only can we train them, we can do a lot of the ‘training’ ourselves! In the coming weeks on this blog, we will explore how.