Leadership can be learned…

by Ron on December 10, 2011

Leadership can be learned…but not in the formal way.

Smart leaders are not just “book smart”, and some great leaders lack much formal education.  That’s not how you learn leadership.

“Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.”  Henry Mintzberg

Of course leadership can be studied as a subject.  James MacGregor Burns was a great student of leadership (Leadership 1978).  Some business schools are learning you can make money teaching people about leadership.  It’s a hot subject.

Even without going to school you can read about it.  Plenty of books out there about leadership.  But you don’t really learn to lead by reading. 

You learn by leading, by taking risks, striking out in a particular direction and noticing others are following you.

You also learn by failing.  Some would say that’s where the real lessons come from.  Or you fail to meet expectations.  You learn leadership when you try and fail and then try again and don’t give up.

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