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Become a Better Leader: Lead Yourself

January 13, 2015

Prudent leaders know how to lead themselves. The first step in this journey is to recognize that leadership takes commitment, consistency and hard work.

This is part five in a six-part series on how to become a better leader. Read part four.

Prudent leaders know how to lead themselves. The first step in this journey is to recognize that leadership takes commitment, consistency and hard work. And, just as a leader must focus and motivate others, you must commit to motivating yourself to continue on this journey.

As with any other skill, leadership can be developed over time. At this point you might be thinking that some people are just born with it. They’re good speakers, charismatic and have the ability to positively influence others. Or, maybe the leaders you know just have that je ne sais quoi – or that special something that’s admirable but hard to pin down.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a study that delved into this very question. Just how much do genetics figure into effective leadership? They evaluated 238 identical male twins who share 100 percent of their genetic background and 188 fraternal male twins who share 50 percent of their genetic background. The study found that only a third of their differences in occupying formal leadership roles could be accounted for by genetic factors.

Environmental factors accounted for the remaining variances in leadership roles. This study suggests that while inherited characteristics influence the extent to which people play particular roles, there is lots of room for people to learn leadership behaviors.

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