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Ask Dave

Who Among You Is a Leader?

Jenny asks if people are born leaders or if anyone can become one.

QUESTION: Jenny on Twitter asks if people are born leaders or if anyone can become one.

ANSWER: I’ve been to the hospital a lot when friends have babies. They never say, “Hey, it’s a leader!” People aren’t born leaders; that’s silly. Different folks have different personality styles, and we can argue whether that comes from environment or DNA (by the way, it’s both). Personality styles will lead you toward things. But there are leaders of every personality style.

There are leaders who are very loud and gregarious like me, and there are leaders who are very quiet, very precise and very exacting. No one is born a leader. Anyone can become a leader. But you have to decide that you want to be. No one is born knowing how to ride a bike, but you can learn.

You learn to be a leader. When I started leading, I didn’t even know what it was. You may think of a management class you did in college or some books you read. Here we are, 20 years after I started this company, and I’ve read houses full of leadership books, applied some of it, and learned and watched and observed and thought about the biblical implications of leading well and serving well.

Leaders can be grown. When I started leading I wasn’t very good at it. And now I’ve become a very good leader.