Monday, March 16, 2009

Isn't Everything Learned?

I know Michael Jordan was born to be a basketball player. He is 6’6”, has big hands and is fast as lightening. I am 5’8”, short and slow. I am definitely not built for the NBA. On the other hand, my friend Tom is 6’6” but I guess he was born to be an accountant. How did Spud Webb make it to the NBA? Was he born to play NBA basketball? He is shorter than me.

Every time I hear someone say, “He’s good because he was born with it” I cringe. I hear an excuse not to learn something. I hear someone deciding not to even try.

People often say this about leadership…that it cannot be taught, that leaders are born not made.

To be a leader, you have to learn how to be a leader. You must learn those actions and behaviors that great leaders do and then you must practice them. There really is not much more to it than that, but you must understand that you can learn to be a great leader.

It takes hard work and often times that hard work is unpleasant. Taking a class after work is a lot more unpleasant than meeting friends for happy hour. So is volunteering to organize an extra assignment at work, when you already have a full schedule. Or reading a book a week rather than watching TV.

To be good at anything takes learning and practice.

It seems to me that only things we are born with are vital organs and a body in which to hold them. Everything else is learned.

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