Are You Born A Leader Or Do You Become A Leader Over Time?

executive leadership mentoring

I had the great privilege to be a guest speaker at two college entrepreneurship classes over the past few weeks. One class was a group of college juniors and one class was a group of college seniors. it was so refreshing to be in the classroom and witness the vigor and enthusiasm that these young folks have for leadership and their future opportunities in the business world! I spoke for about thirty minutes to each group about transformational leadership and what I emphasized was the fundamentals of never quit, proactive communications, continual change and delivering results. The attentiveness of both groups was outstanding and their engagement in the insuing question and answer period was energizing for me. In fact, I took a couple of books and promoted strong questions by offering a free book to the student in each class with the best question.

In one of the classes, I recognized the winning question as the question that is the title of this blog, “Randy, were you born a leader or did you become one over time?” What a great question from an aspiring leader in his twenties and it helped me to address some thoughts to the class that were maybe the best moments in my time with them. My answer, which truly came without much thought, was as follows. I knew very early in my career (within the first year of leaving college) that I had the desire to lead. I do believe that desire has to be one that you are born with, especially if you are to succeed as a leader. Second, I shared with the class that I may have been born with the desire to be a leader but the path to being a leader is via the experiences, failures and learnings from other leaders that you have over time. In fact, no leader, regardless of how much he/she feels they are born with leadership skills, becomes an effective leader with coupling desire with the hard work of learning leadership over time.

I feel it is important to share in closing how impressed I was with these students this week. We hear so much bad about the uture but I am truly encouraged about the future leadership of the business world based on the interface I had with these seventy future leaders.


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Motivational Leadership Speaking Motivational Leadership SpeakingRandy continues to be an exciting motivational leadership speaker, which has been his passion for over 25 years. He honed his skill as a motivational speaker and business coach working at GE under the tutelage of Jack Welch. From line supervisor to President & CEO, Randy has successfully lead individuals through his specific motivational methods that produce tangible results. Randy is personable, authentic, and driven. He has a speaking ability that motivates and energizes individuals to achieve beyond their potential.
Executive Leadership Mentoring Executive Mentoring & Leadership ConsultingRandy Dobbs is a proven CEO with strong operational/execution skills who has demonstrated success in fix-it situations. Randy has been a mentor for over 30 years helping individuals, senior leaders, to CEO’s at GE, Phillips Medical, USIS and wcasportfolio companies. Randy was trained in mentoring while at GE and subsequently pushed to train all the top leaders in Philips and USIS while implementing mentor programs at both organizations.Randy mentors/coaches CEO’s and some of their direct reports today in his current role.
Buy Randy’s book “Transformational Leadership” Transformational Leadership

Sharing personal experience and practical business blueprints, Dobbs takes the reader on a journey through the transformational process. Leaders working in organizations of various sizes--and facing diverse challenges and opportunities--will find Dobbs' ideas transformative, personally as well as professionally. This is a book for persons who want to be change agents within their respective organizations. It is for all who want to make a difference for themselves and their coworkers.