Leaders are born, not made.
Leaders are made, not born.

These two statements, diametrically opposed in every way, lie at the heart of a debate that has raged within the human community for a very long time. Now, which it true?

The answer is that both statements are correct.

There are some born who simply will fall into a leadership role by virtue of personality. These people become leaders because the skills necessary for leadership are simply innate to that particular personality. These people cannot BE swayed from treading that lonely path, for their own personality naturally leads them time and again into the role.

Others, through circumstance or happenstance, fall into the role and are literally forced to the front of the line. These people, by virtue of rank, standing or seniority, have the yolk sometimes literally forced upon them. They are given a quick slap on the back or a congratulatory handshake and are expected to somehow magically and instantly develop the skill set necessary for the successful accomplishment of the particular goal at hand.

However leaders, whether born or made, have no guarantee of achieving success in the role. Becoming a leader is one thing; becoming an effective leader is quite another story indeed. It goes without say that there have been many who have taken on the leadership role only to fail miserably. This begs the question: What makes for an effective leader?

I propose that to be an effective leader, there is a singular, necessary ‘skill’ that must be developed. That ‘skill’, if we can refer to it as such, is that one must learn to lose one’s ego. This is very easy to say, but is extremely difficult to accomplish. The effective leader, in nearly every case, does not build followers. The effective leader builds more leaders. This is the common thread, the trait that all successful leaders throughout our collective history have shared. For only by losing one’s ego will one’s mind open up to gladly accept all the other ideas one must embrace and utilize to build more leaders. What are those other skills?

Debra Slover, the author of ‘U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing The Leader Within’ understands intimately the theories underlying the building of effective leadership. Certainly theoretical understanding is necessary, however it is but the first step. If someone is to teach and teach effectively, the student must have faith that the teacher has been there and done that. Debra Slover has been there. And she certainly has done that.

‘U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing The Leader Within’ is sweeping in range yet stunning in its simplicity. For here Debra employs one of the oldest and most effective teaching techniques ever devised by man: the fable.

Our greatest teachers have, to a person, fallen back upon the simple parable to communicate to us the most complex of ideas in a manner that is easily understood. The method she employs here, the story of a Leadership Farm, accomplishes the goal perfectly.

The fable begins when Hugh, a lost sheep who represents the heart, mind, and spirit in each of us, wanders onto the Leadership Farm. Here he meets a host of characters, all of which have very specific lessons to teach. Each character he meets represents an aspect of the journey towards learning to become that effective leader.

This story not only teaches, it also enlivens and entertains. We have the opportunity to meet Leda, a compassionate gardener and her husband Aristotle. At the outset Annabelle, a graceful Border collie, takes the ever-innocent Hugh under her wing and the journey begins.

I am trying very hard not to give the story away though I greatly wish to do so. It is simply delightful. Around every corner on the journey a fresh, new and enlightening lesson awaits Hugh. And it awaits you.

Each of the lessons presented here is clearly reinforced, both within and outside of the fable. Hugh is asked what he has learned as the result of a particular experience. The reader is then given an exercise that will allow the reader to see how this lesson relates to the readers ‘real life’ situation. Each and every lesson it presented in such a way as to be perfectly clear and extremely concise.

What is so unique here is the acronym itself. U.N.I.Q.U.E. is defined here as the Understanding, Nurturing, Inventive, Quality, Unstoppable, Expression of leadership. Debra is a real fan of acronyms and she employs them very effectively here.

Though the words are simple, the lessons are not. However, Debra’s simple use of simple words reveals an uncanny knack for making the most complex of ideas easily understandable.

We believe that leadership is a special quality. It is not. The spirit of the leader does not lie solely within the leader; it lies within each and every one of us. It matters not at all what role you might play, be it parent, teacher, grandparent, coach, counselor, minister, civic leader, employer or employee. The central message found here in this wonderful story is that you, specifically you, have within you the power to have a positive impact upon those you meet, be it standing at a podium or standing in line at the local grocery store.

Debra hits us squarely between the eyes with this message. She has faith in every one of us and she has the ability to communicate that faith to us clearly. She empowers us and exhorts us. She steadfastly refuses to draw that hard line in the sand we so easily draw. You are a leader, though you may know it not. And, much like Hugh, you will get that message here in this book.

The failure of a particular task does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the individual person attempting that task is a failure as a person. We have a marked tendency to believe otherwise.

Everyone is a leader. All leaders fail at times. If we can learn to accept this simple idea, we have learned one of the primary lessons Debra Slover attempts to teach.

This book can be purchased at Amazon.

Don McCauley, ICM, MTC, CH is the founder and facilitator of the Heaven On Earth LifeStyle Partnership located at http://www.heavenonearthsystem.com

Be Sociable, Share!