How to Be a Natural Leader

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Being a natural leader requires being authentic, recognizing uniqueness, knowing strengths and weaknesses, and changing when necessary. Learn how to conform when necessary, but also to be a maverick, with advice from a business management consultant in this free video on leadership.

Part of the Video Series: Business & Leadership
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Video Transcript

I'm here to talk to you about how to be a natural leader. Now leadership does emerge in some situations, just think about it, you go on a team building weekend or a weekend experience weekend, no one has said you're the leader or anyone else for that matter. How does a leader emerge in those situations and how do you find what's natural about leadership? Well part of it is really about being yourself. What the gurus call authenticity. It's worth actually taking note of that for a moment, I'm going to read a couple of quotes to you about authenticity. This one is from Sidney Pollack. He says you go to leadership school, try to pitch your voice the way others do it. And have your office decorate the same way the boss' is, and it's not real leadership. Real leadership probably has more to do with recognizing your own uniqueness than it does with identifying your similarities. Perhaps a bit quicker than that Lou Reed said I do lead better than anyone else. In other words leadership is not a karaoke affair. It is however about picking out certain key things and being realistic and authentic about it. One of those things is knowing your own strengths and weaknesses. Good leaders spend some time working at what they're good at, and what they're not so good at. And not trying to fake it. Secondly, they're authentic but they also change, they're authentic chameleons. The London Business School used that term to point out that you can't be the same to all people all the time. But within your range of skills you can show different parts of yourself to other people. Finally leaders conform enough to get things done, but are by nature mavericks. They will actually connect with people to get them engaged with a task, and then pull them a little bit to actually get them to move to one step higher in their performance. When there are signs of strain, they will connect again. It's what the psychologists call "matching." Mismatching and then matching again. So, in conclusion, leadership really is about being authentic. It's about knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and not trying to fake things. Better to get someone else who can do the things that you need to do if it's outside of your range. It's about connecting and engaging people, then pulling them to a higher performance level and then connecting again and keeping that cycle going.

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