Walking in Geneva this summer, my eyes got caught by smiling young people on the public transport. It was not a toothpaste add, but it could have been looking at the wide-open smiling mouth with the nice white teeth. The suggestion of success was clearly the point, success by following an MBA course. Can one become a competent leader or are you a leader by nature ?
I am impressed how people seem to change mentally once they have done an MBA or a leadership training. As if they finally they ‘became’ somebody. Good for (social) self-esteem. MBA or leadership trainings as the ultimate recipe to overcome management trouble: colleagues will finally listen and respect you.
Another question that arises: why does somebody follows a leadership program? Can we all become leaders ? If a role requires leadership talents should you push people to invest in an MBA ? Besides the fun of learning, is such money well spent ? Leadership books generate top sales results. The quantity of leadership books existing indicates the wide number of leadership definitions. Agreeing what leadership really means is an almost impossible mission, as it is so colored by the person who expresses itself. And yet it is so much needed.
Do they search a visionary person, an entrepeneur profile setting out the long term goals, a manager enhancing teamplay or an innovative people manager ? Do they search competencies or natural leaders ? Natural leaders are intrinsically motivated and love to lead. And they do not need MBA or leadership programs to ‘become’ competent because the have a natural inborn talent for it. Natural leadership is composed of at least one strong social component, at least one strong organizational component and the inborn natural flair to undertake and take initiative.
What is my point ? You cannot teach a person that is not a natural leader to become a leader. Forcing people into leadership courses or making reading leadership books to change them might be a waste of time and money. You better try to find out if the person you think to promote has at least 3 strong inborn talents for leading. Sending a natural leader to a leadership course will make him or her excel ! If you invest in people who are NOT natural born leaders, you still risk to loose them, MBA or not. You cannot expect loyalty if you force people into the wrong roles. Being clear on the leadership definition as well as Investing in predictive natural leadership is a much better way. 12 natural born talents are linked to natural leadership ! Get in touch with me if you want to find out more ! Thanks for having read this article ! Birgit