It’s an interesting question, in theory the obvious answer would be Yes of course, however the reality can be a little bit different.
There are certain qualities that a person must either have or be prepared to develop to become a leader, without this commitment no amount of training will develop a leader, for example.
One “leader” was particularly nasty and vitriolic to her team, her logic was “ My boss’s used to be horrible to me”, which is not exactly the ideal mentality you need in a leader, rather unsurprisingly her and her company had high staff turnover rates and disappeared back from whence they came, and very quickly.
We have all seen the classic signs of ego overtaking rationale, with people being carried away with the significance of the Title and forgetting what the bigger picture is.
A perfect example of this would be, In one company there were 5 VP’s and 1 of them would be promoted to become President, sadly they chose the wrong candidate and his initial goal was to wipe out the other 4 VP’s, he had got rid of 3 of them before the Company realised the mistake and replaced him with the remaining VP, (who was actually the perfect candidate for the role)
I think a good starting point would be to try and define what is Leadership?
Leadership is about encouraging a team to achieve and surpass targets budgets etc, consistently and to develop a solution oriented mentality with everybody focused on the same goal.
Ideally a leader should know and be experienced in their field, they should always be respective and protective of their team, and lead by example, don’t demand what you’re not prepared to bring yourself.
They should be committed to the development of their team (they will be the future of the business) be open to opinions and ideas, embrace talented individuals and encourage their growth.
An open mind and open door policy is always a good sign, as is never hearing them say I, Me, My and Mine, instead using, We, Us, Ours, Together and similar terms.
Sometimes the obvious person won’t make the best leader (the top sales person for example, won’t automatically become the best manager), it can be more about the personality of the individual, do they have the great habits, are they aware of their issues and prepared to work on them for the benefit of the Team.
I think the following quote sums it all up very nicely,
“When I talk to Managers they remind me how important they are, when I talk to Leaders, they remind me how important I am”.
So back to the original question, can we train leadership?
At VOS we face this challenge frequently, and yes we believe we can, on the proviso the individual has the correct desire, commitment and mentality.