Collectively we know that good leaders are needed in all sectors and levels of our society. The demand is great and we’ve approached this need by creating leadership classes, workshops and seminars designed to mass produce good leaders. These training sessions have been built around the multitude of leadership books which profess the premise that everyone can be made into a leader. The authors of these leadership books in many cases have taken on a guru status or persona as they proclaim through their books and seminars their personal guides which identify their step-by-step formulas for the attainment of leadership skills. Their books and teachings are renowned for their heavy doses of charts and graphs, CEO interviews, and identification of leadership competencies to support their much documented pseudoscientific conclusions regarding how to create and mass produce leaders. The underlying concept for all these gurus and books is that if a person has the desire to be a leader, the commitment to work hard to become a leader, and if that person completes the guru sponsored leadership training, then anyone can become a good leader. Government officials, corporate CEOs, small business owners, and others in leadership positions have accepted these guru findings as fact and training events are scheduled and booked to overflowing as recently hired leaders and long-time leaders signed up to be shown the way to good leadership for all. But, there is a problem, this stuff doesn’t work. What typically happens is that after completing leadership training and the associated fan-fare regarding the presentation of a certificate or diploma fades away, the newly trained leaders go back to their worksites and within months the class guide book is sitting closed on a shelf. And for the most part, everything goes back to the way it was prior to completing the training. Good leaders are natural born leaders and will incorporate the aspects of the training they believe valuable into their daily practice. Poor leaders on the other hand cannot seem to translate the training into action and reality at their worksites. Something is holding them back from becoming good leaders and that something is a lack of innate leadership talent. Often the organization sponsoring a particular guru will contract with another “expert” in the hopes that the new guru’s message will get through to their poor leaders, but it won’t. If a person does not have innate leadership talent, then it doesn’t matter how much training, coaching or inspirational encouragement a person gets, that person will never become a good leader. Training can enhance the talent already in a person, but no amount or type of leadership training can make a person into a good leader. You either have the needed leadership talent or you don’t. You can either accept that reality or continue to be a leadership imposter. Understand if you choose the latter, your employees can see through your masquerade.
Paul Okum has 40 years experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Defense, and the Army in numerous leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a human resources director. Mr. Okum has written Leadership DNA, a provocative and useful guide book allowing readers to broaden their understandings about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. This guide book shows you the various aspects of leadership, including looking into good leaders’ behavior patterns, determining ways of identifying a natural born leader in order to achieve your objectives, as well as learning how to deal with poor managers that can potentially cripple you and your organization.