There is a heated debate going on regarding the question of leadership. There are some who will tell you that the ability to lead is an innate quality, born into a man or woman and cultivated through the years. But there are others who will argue that this notion of a born leader is one of the greatest delusions ever concocted by man.
So which is it? Are leaders born or made? While the verdict is still out in that department, there is no doubt that effective mentorship can go a long way towards growing a successful leader, regardless of whether their skills are inherent or learned.
No matter how you look at it, the skills that make up a great leader are ones that must be honed and nurtured, preferably over a long period of time. Leaders should be developed early on, at a young age, and fostered within an organization. Mentorship is a proven method for both growing and guiding these young leaders, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to excel and pointing them in the direction of success.
Throughout history, some of the most prominent leaders have attributed their success to mentors. Bill Gates had a mentor in Dr. Ed Roberts, president of Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). Mining magnate Robert Friedland has been credited for recognizing the spark of genius in Steve Jobs back when Jobs was still in college. And finally, Warren Buffet, who is still ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people, owes a great deal of his success to his professor at Columbia Business School, Benjamin Graham.
These are just three of the most well known examples. Undoubtedly, if you were to study the lives of other great leaders, you’d find great mentors nearby. The evidence is clear: whether you were born or made, if you are destined to become a great leader, you will get there with the help of skilled mentoring. The reason behind this connection is no great mystery; when you spend time with an expert, someone who possesses great knowledge or experience in a particular domain, you are able to observe, reflect on, and absorb information to constantly improve your career.
In many organizations as of late, there has been an increased emphasis on mentoring programs. What’s the reason behind the increased focus? Today, organizations rate leadership skills as the most important competence for employees. The challenge for these organizations is to create and retain great leaders. Unlike traditional training programs, which are often expensive and time consuming, and don’t always yield the desired results, mentoring programs have been proven a more cost-efficient and reliable alternative for developing leaders.
In addition to taking on mentors, professionals who have benefited from mentoring programs in their own careers should take the time to pay it forward by becoming mentors themselves. Their direction and support could be the one factor that determines the next great leader.
Succeed in mentoring with MentorCloud
Do you want to grow more leaders within your organization? Contact MentorCloud for help identifying employees with potential and learn how to match them with the right mentors. MentorCloud allows your organization to share knowledge and wisdom openly, while enabling both small and large companies to develop their employees.
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