Success and leadership, do they go hand in hand or are they mutually exclusive?

Just because someone is successful does that automatically mean they are a good leader? The answer in my experience is a resounding no. The ingredients for success in my experience include right place right time, hard work, persistence and more than an ounce of luck.

On the other hand, I have had the good fortune of working alongside some wonderful leaders and likewise some less capable leaders – we can and should learn from both.

Leadership in my experience starts at home, it starts when a person decides they want to be a better leader and a whole life’s journey begins.

Leaders are made, we are a product of our environments, and choice. Sure, some people are blessed with more favourable characteristics and traits however in the absence of conscious nurturing leaders can and will ultimately get found out.

I say it starts at home because I firmly believe leadership is a choice, a choice that is embedded in personal growth it requires daily attendance, curiosity, commitment, and a strong set of values upon which the foundations of leadership can be built.

Let’s not confuse the charm with effective leadership plenty of people are charming and can light up a room but that does not alone make them good or effective leaders.

Leadership is a resounding commitment to learning and improving, its values based and it shouldn’t matter where one fits into an organisation in terms of seniority be it family, community, or business to become an effective leader.

I’ve witnessed, particularly in business and the elite sports arena graduates and draftees come into organisations and make an immediate impact based on their earlier learnings and commitment to being the best they can be. I’ve equally seen seasoned professionals, veterans in business and sport with many years on the job struggle to make an impact on the leadership scale.

Leadership is a choice and remains a choice with respect to every decision we make, the upside is we can choose to make better choices at any time and start over. The other side of the equation is we can make no choice or a poor choice and continue on the treadmill.

The best leaders I have worked with and for over thirty years in business share similar leadership traits that include honesty, transparency, they care about their people, they listen, determination, a sense of urgency, immediate honest feedback, the ability to delegate and trust.

You decide what’s right for you – it’s your choice.