Are you born with leadership skills or are they learned?

imgresSomeone asked this question the other day and I keep thinking about it.  It could be the same question about being an entrepreneur.  Are you born with those entrepreneurial skills or are they learned?

I have thought a lot about this.   I think about this when I talk to entrepreneurs.  Will this person be able to lead a team?  Are they self aware?

I do think that entrepreneurs can be given help to become better at what they do yet they must have leadership skills.  So what can be taught?

I am a big fan of CEO coaches.  They can help people learn to be better leaders even those who are built with those skill sets.  Entrepreneurs start with an idea, they lead people to believe in them, they get people to come and work for them and help them execute on the vision, hopefully money believes in the vision too and they come along for the ride and the growth.  Before you know it the company has grown up and there not 5 people but 20 and then 40 and then 50.  The skill sets needed don’t change they need to evolve.

I do think that leadership can be taught at some level.  Yet if you have young kids it is incredible how you can see the leaders emerge even at 5 years old.  You can see a bunch of other things too but all the all the skills you are born with are always there…they just sometimes need a little help coming out.