LEADERS: Nature or Nurture?

by Jana Beals, September 26, 2020

Sales were so low that the greeting card store could not support two full-time workers. Store manager Noah paced as he tried to decide whether to reduce the hours of two employees or lay off one employee.

He couldn’t make a decision, so he ignored the problem.

He didn’t let the employees know what was going on, and was grouchy for days. When one of the employees asked if there was anything they could do to help, Noah flew off the handle and fired that employee.

Problem solved, or was it?

Some argue that leaders are born with the ability, or that leadership comes with experience, and there are those that say leadership is a combination of all three factors.

Whatever the opinion, it is agreed that leadership is a quality and trait that must be cultivated over time.

According to expert Tony Robbins there are 8 leadership qualities that everyone can develop and hone over time:

Confidence: Body posture, eye contact, believing your authority

Focus: Organization, strategic thinking, planning

Honesty:  Speak/work honestly with everyone to convey ethics

Positivity: Challenges into successes, opportunity, optimistic

Decisiveness: Make decisions using judgement and information

Ability to Inspire: Encourage others to reach goals, to realize the vision or big picture, creating positivity

Good Communication: Exchange information via listening, speaking, and hearing on a regular basis

Accountability: Holding team, and self, accountable for mistakes; not deflecting blame to others

(Source: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/career-business/6-basic-leadership-qualities/)

In the scenario above, Noah did not exhibit stellar leadership skills — he certainly could use a management coach to learn the basics of leadership skills. Investing in learning is investing in yourself.

Communicating with honesty, making decisions, and inspiring confidence help shape one person's method of operating as well as shape those around them.

Let’s not forget that employees, clients, and customers are watching our behavior. Is your behavior something you would want others to learn?

è Do you think Noah should have shared the financial dilemma with the employees, then advised them of the decision he must make to resolve the issue?


è Do you think he should rescind his termination of the employee he fired?


è What are you doing to work on your own leadership skills?