Are Leaders Born or Developed?
According to Marc Hasrouny and Sam Khreishe, co-owners of Megatel Services Inc., the answer is: both. Having taken them through a process of leadership training and development, they are seeing how self-development builds upon the inherent leadership qualities that we are all born with.
As Fritz Glaus has been describing in his articles on types of people and styles of leadership which have appeared in our newsletters, each person or type has different leadership qualities that are more predominant at birth. These natural qualities are what can be called our true potential and must be understood and developed in order for them to become valuable assets in our personal and professional lives. It is akin to knowing your strengths and then finding the best way to build and use them.
Through the process of leadership development that was tied into the types of people approach that Fritz has developed, Marc and Sam learned to use their inborn talents to become better leaders and be more effective in their individual roles.
Marc, who looks after operations and financing, discovered that his key strengths are working with and helping others, and in having an abundance of ideas. However, he also found that he lacked organization in the planning of his tasks and often procrastinated on certain everyday jobs that were unpleasant or not structured. During the course of the training sessions that were spread out over three months, Marc learned the art of goal setting and achievement, and put in place a system to organize and structure his work week and day. Everything was now getting written down and followed-up in his agenda daily. By the end of the training sessions Marc claimed he was no longer forgetting to do things or putting them off.
Another thing Marc learned to do was to use active listening in order to address performance issues and to motivate people to do what was required. This gentle approach to confronting others fit well with Marc, since having the strength of helping others meant confrontation was not something pleasant to him (nor to most of us to say the least). Through the technique of active listening, Marc discovered that he could win people's attention by first listening and showing that he understood their idea or position, and then by giving his point of view in order to win them on his idea. This, he feels, is creating better collaboration with employees, customers and suppliers.
Sam on the other hand is a complete opposite type to Marc, and his main strengths are taking action and being good in business. His role is looking after sales and technical service and support. Being highly results and goal driven, Sam could at times be rough with people who did not meet his performance expectations. He would lose patience and become controlling of others. Through the training process Sam learned he needed to be more diplomatic and patient when things were not going his way. He set a goal to work on his behaviours and also used active listening as a tool to be more diplomatic. He practiced this daily with those he interacted with and has noticed dramatic improvement in his relationships. Feedback from others has also reinforced his new behaviours and motivated him to continue to develop these qualities.
Marc and Sam are great examples of how personal development can not only lead to less stress and greater satisfaction, but can also have a tremendous impact on others and motivate them to work more productively to achieve mutually important goals.