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Are leaders made or born?

In a survey administered by the The Center for Creative Leadership, C-level executives from companies across 53 countries were asked this question. Below are the results:

  • About 53% of top executives think leaders are made
  • About 19% think leaders are born
  • Just over 25% think leaders are both, born and made.

With many believing that leaders are in fact made, it presents the question, can leadership be learned?

In honor of his upcoming birthday and his excellence in leadership, edX recognizes one of America’s greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln. 

J.T. Duryea, of the U.S Christian Commission who met frequently with President Lincoln described him as follows:

In temper he was earnest, yet controlled, frank, yet sufficiently guarded, patient, yet energetic, forgiving, yet just to himself; generous yet firm. His conscience was the strongest element of his nature. His affections were tender & warm. His whole nature was simple and sincere- he was pure, and then was himself.

Now, apart from being remembered for his vital role as the leader in preserving the union during the civil war and contributing greatly towards ending slavery in the United States, his name is forever engraved in the hearts and minds of leaders.

Lincoln’s leadership qualities are studied by presidents, CEO’s, students and anyone looking to become a strong, good leader. So, to honor and celebrate all of his accomplishments, we have pulled together four courses that will you help become a better leader and exemplify some of Lincoln’s essential leadership qualities.

1. Lincoln’s ability to listen to different points of view

In the award-winning book, Team of Rivals, Kearns Goodwin learned that Lincoln always listened to different perspectives before making a final decision. This created a climate where cabinet members felt free with minimal power distance.

Inclusive Leadership Training:Becoming a Successful Leader – CatalystX

This course will teach you how to create your own personal leadership plan, the popular “EACH” framework that known leaders use today and everything about inclusive leadership.

2. Master communicator

Kearns Goodwin also noted that Lincoln was always successful in communicating his goals to his countrymen. A leader is responsible for making sure his team is working towards similar goals.

Inclusive Leadership Training: Leading with Effective Communication – Catalyst X

In this business course, you will learn different approaches for communicating effectively, how to go beyond everyday communication roadblocks and proven strategies for authentic communication.

3. Ability to relax and replenish

It’s a common misconception that leaders are serious people who are workaholics. Lincoln, for instance had a good sense of humor and loved to tell funny stories. In fact, one time after being called “two faced” he said, “if I had two faces, why would I be wearing this one?”

Inclusive Leadership Training: Get Beyond Work-Life Balance – CatalystX

This business and management course will teach you how to create a balance between work and life, identify common barriers and create solutions for them.

4. Ability to share the credit for success, as well as the blame for failure 

Members of his cabinet team loved Lincoln especially because he always stood up for and included them. When there was success, he shared the credit with everyone who was involved. 

Introduction to People Management -IIMBx

People management is a skill that every great leaders aims to achieve. In this course, you will learn through case studies, interviews, discussions and videos how to become a better manager and understand the people you manage.

Enhance your leadership skills and enroll today to get a step closer towards becoming a better leader. As Lincoln so accurately stated years ago, “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” so go create yours!

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