There are a few leadership advantages that may be genetic; everything else is made or created by the personality and beliefs of the leader.

In our society there exists a paradigm of leadership—a subtle but powerful expectation of what a leader looks like, smells like and sounds like. This is the prevailing wind, the background against which all pictures of leaders are painted.

Leaders are men.
Leaders are tall.
Leaders are handsome.
Leaders are loud.
Leaders are forceful.
Leaders are smart.

Remember, this is what the masses expect a leader to be—not necessarily what a leader is or should be. And these traits pale in comparison with the long list of learned traits that actually make a powerful leader.

You and I know people who seem to hit the ground running in life. From their earliest years, they just seemed to be the life of the party, to lead the playground charge, to get most everything they really wanted. We often refer to these people as “natural leaders”—but the truth is, they simply received the greatest gift of all: intentional, intelligent, competent parenting.

The first five or six years of childhood are where “natural-born” leaders are made. This is the time during which a child learns critical beliefs that teach him to lead and succeed. Here are some examples:

I am loved unconditionally—therefore I love unconditionally.
I am valuable—therefore others are valuable. I am safe—therefore I provide safety.
I deserve to get what worthy things I want—therefore others are worthy.
I am free—therefore I provide freedom.
Life is give and take, I must give to get.
Life is fun and will remain so.

Leaders are mostly made—and they are mostly made by age five.

“Great,” you say, “what do I do if I’m 50—and want to become a leader?” Easy: just learn to believe what leaders believe. You can learn anything new that you put your mind to, whether it’s a foreign language, an art, a science—or a new beliefs. Beliefs are learned; we are not born with them.

You want to be a leader—a powerful one. What could you do? Study leadership; study what the so-called experts—those in the supposed-to-know—have to say. They won’t all agree; and that’s good, it will keep you from being brain-washed by their perspectives.

Look for reason. Look for where your brain says to you, “Well, that makes sense,
doesn’t it?” When you find reason, hone in on it until you own it.

Let’s say a leader you respect stated, for example, that “listening to others” is a powerful leadership trait. You could also choose to just learn to believe in what he or she said simply because it was he or she who said it.

This is how we learned to believe most of what we believe: someone we believed said it was so. This is called an affirmation.

Affirmations are powerful tools: even though you may consciously object to the content of the message, it imprints itself on your unconscious as though it were true. An assertion of fact by another can qualify as an affirmation if you believe in them, or if the communication is so crystal clear that you can see, feel, hear and taste every aspect of it. Such affirmations are often called “visions.” Study an affirmed “vision” over and over again, and soon, whether you want to or not, you will start to move in accordance with it. Read = believe.

“Made leaders” believe in things that move people.

Leadership is present as an action only if there are people who can be moved in a direction they would not normally move on their own, or moved to do things they would not normally do on their own. If this context is not present, even if a leader is, there is no leadership to do.

Therefore, the first and foremost thing a “made leader” has is a vision (idea, goal, objective, plan, call it what you will) that is packaged such that others, if they follow it, will enjoy benefits that are dear to them. A vision is not a powerful vision for the leader unless it honors the core values and gifts of those following it. The leader must be spiritually moved by the vision and seek to attract like-hearted and like-minded people. It is not enough that the leader knows where to go and what is in store for him. He must know what’s in it for anyone else, and communicate these benefits powerfully.

You and I can learn how to do these things. More important, we can also learn to believe that we are the embodiment of these traits. We can learn to believe this not only by experience but by having a vision of ourselves already being these traits, then studying that vision over and over again

Leaders are made—not born!—and you can accelerate the process by jumping into the game right now!


is a veteran network marketer
and author of Mach II With
Your Hair on Fire!