Are you a natural born leader?

Natural born leaderWe’ve all heard the term “natural born leader”. But what makes a leader “natural”? What makes a natural born leader different from the other types of leader? What specific characters do these natural born leaders possess? Are you a natural born leader?

Terry St. Marie, a business consultant and strategist who has been recently named as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. Magazine, claims that great leadership should be “like breathing”. According to him, “…great leaders possess a set of instincts that transcend any premeditation, or drawn out meditation, or deliberate choice.”

“Certain acts just happen,” he claims. “They shouldn’t be thought about. It’s like breathing.”

Here are the 10 qualities that define a natural leader:

  1. Consideration
    A quality common among those that exercise people-oriented leadership style, consideration means having genuine regard and concern towards others including their welfare, situation and personal opinion.

  2. Empathy
    By putting yourself in the shoes of others, say your subordinates or colleagues, you become more capable and effective in leading them.

  3. Generosity
    No, we’re not talking about money here. Rather, generosity is one’s willingness to devote your time, effort and patience towards your colleagues, your peers and the people around you without expecting anything in return.

  4. Courtesy
    Common courtesy is a good foundation of leadership. The ability to simply express your respect or gratitude by using words like “Please” and “Thank You” can really go a long way.

  5. Humility
    Ken Blanchard, a management expert, puts it best by saying that “People with humility do not think less of themselves; they just think about themselves less.”

  6. Integrity
    A person’s commitment or will to do the right thing for the right reason, regardless of the circumstances, that’s integrity. Those who possess integrity are incorruptible. They are incapable of breaking the trust of those who believe and have confided in them. Choosing what’s right regardless of the consequences is the hallmark of person with integrity.

  7. Compassion
    This quality is best defined by Tibetan scholar Thupten Jinpa who once said that “Compassion is a mental state endowed with a sense of concern for the suffering of others and aspiration to see that suffering relieved.”

  8. Contrition
    If you need to apologize for a mistake, then do so and make an effort to make things better. Having the ability to admit mistakes and learn from them is an important trait of a leader.

  9. Courage
    There is a reason why Aristotle holds courage as the first and foremost virtue. It is for the simple reason that courage makes all other virtues possible. The best leaders are the most courageous leaders as they are able to constantly make difficult decisions and take necessary risks to achieve great things.

  10. Civility
    Peter Drucker once said that “Good manners are the lubricating oil of organizations.” Civility or good manners are critical in building lasting professional relationship as well as in creating a respectful office environment.


If you possess all of these qualities, the chances are that you are a natural born leader. Even if you do not possess a lot of these characters, don’t worry. Only a lucky few have all of them. However, leadership is also a skill that can be learned. Anyone can cultivate the qualities of a natural leader. In fact, all of us should.


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