Leadership skills and traits greatly influence a person’s career development. Whether running a business or employment, these skills and traits determine your success. Unfortunately, many upcoming leaders do not know which skills and traits are needed and how they are acquired. In this series of interviews, we ask business leaders whether it is possible to learn leadership skills and which leadership skills and traits cannot be learned.

Here’s what they had to say:


Dr Gloria Pope

Title: Business Catalyst and Educator

Company: Black Girl Everthing, LLC

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-gloria-pope-9723a219b/

Anyone can certainly learn leadership skills. While not everyone naturally has the “traits” that come with being a leader, they can work to develop those, too. Confidence, organization, and effective communication are all skills a leader needs. The good thing is, all these skills are something that someone can learn. Part of what I do is teach other small business owners how to be a leader in their niche. Being a great leader means something different to everyone, and everyone can be a different kind of great leader.


Gerrid Smith

Title: Director of E-commerce

Company: Joy Organics

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gerrid-smith-1259622/

Perseverance, in my view, is one of the essential qualities of a leader that cannot be acquired by training or experience. One of the most important characteristics that set great leaders apart from good ones is resilience. The ability to make a full recovery and remain resilient in the face of repeated setbacks and challenges. The winner of any fight is always the guy who survives the conflict the longest. It is also impossible to teach; once it is there in a person, it can be developed further, but it cannot be transferred to another person.


Travis Lindemoen

Title: Managing Director

Company: Nexus IT Group

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/travisnexusitgroup/

In my opinion, conversational interaction is one of the intangibles of leadership that cannot be taught. The ability to communicate effectively is fundamental to success in any endeavor. In the field of public relations, nobody is an exception. To be successful and provide excellent service to our clients, we must put a lot of time and effort into cultivating relationships. Communication skills are essential in every field; from client-agency interactions to media contacts and beyond, team members at all levels must be able to present themselves professionally in conversation, take up adequate physical space at meetings, and communicate with authority and charisma. The ability to network effectively is a crucial skill in any field.


Robert Warner

Title: Head of Marketing

Company: VirtualValley

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robewarner/

In my opinion, the ability to deal with stress is one of the inalienable attributes of a good leader. Anyone who has ever worked in an agency knows that it is often a stressful and hectic environment. It’s also exciting, enjoyable, and gratifying. Many of us are curious as to how others handle pressure or keep a positive outlook on their careers. Telling of how they would fare under pressure and with little time.


Marty Ford

Title: President

Company: BulletpRoof Roof Systems Ltd.

Linkedin: https://bit.ly/3SyvFIc

YES. While some people may be born with certain leadership skills and traits, these can also be learned. There are many different ways to develop leadership skills, such as taking courses, attending workshops, or reading books on the subject. The most important thing is to have a willingness to learn and grow as a leader. Leadership skills and traits are important because they enable leaders to effectively manage and motivate people. Good leaders possess a variety of skills and traits that enable them to create a vision, communicate it to others, and then provide the necessary support and resources to make the vision a reality.


Ellie Shippey

Title: E-commerce Growth Specialist

Company: EZContacts

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eleanor-shippey-6624a3203/

My point of view is that intelligence is the one factor that cannot be taught when it comes to leadership qualities and talents. In contrast to other skills, intelligence is a natural trait that cannot be acquired by education. When you’re born, you bring with you a set of characteristics that were passed down from your family’s previous generations. A leader’s intelligence is the most important asset, and while brilliance is not required to succeed, it is helpful.


Josh Pelletier

Title: Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

Company: BarBend

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jpelletiercreative/?original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2F

In the same way that virtue may be studied, I believe that empathy can also be researched, but it cannot really be taught. Empathy comes from the heart, but knowledge comes from the mind. One piece of evidence supporting this assertion is the fact that numerous despots throughout history have benefited from high-quality education and, moreover, religious training. It is up to the individual to determine whether or not they wish to be compassionate, because it is impossible to show empathy for another person if one does not already have it for themselves.


Abdul Saboor

Title: Full Stack Developer

Company: The Stock Dork

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/abdul-saboor-049247166/

I believe that a fire, once it has been set, is capable of burning through wood, but once it has died out, it is not even capable of burning through paper. In addition, motivation is the everlasting fuel that is required in order to transition from one work to another without losing excitement. It is something that cannot be taught, but it may be sparked and grown by the words and deeds of another person.


Robert Smith

Title: Head of Marketing

Company: Psychometric Success

Linkedin: psychometric-success.com

In contrast to other skills, I feel that intelligence is something that can only be acquired via natural upbringing and cannot be taught. When you are born, you bring with you some characteristics that you have inherited from your parents and grandparents. It is not necessary for a leader to be a genius, but intelligence is the most important factor to consider in making decisions, therefore having it is always beneficial.


Tim Davidson

Title: President

Company: Car Title Loan Lenders

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-davidson-03a06220b/

Rather than being something that can be taught, I believe that creativity must be ignited. Since it is fundamentally a brain function, it would be challenging to instill it in someone who does not already possess it. Having many large-scale brain networks that communicate with one another is associated with creative thinking. The way in which different areas of the brain connect with one another is crucial when it comes to creativity, fluidity, and adaptability.


Deepanshu Bedi

Title: Co Founder

Company: Exhale Wellness

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepanshu-bedi/

You can learn leadership skills and traits only if you are willing to put in the time and effort. It’s not something that comes naturally to everyone.

Some leadership skills and traits are easier to acquire than others. For example, a good leader should be able to make decisions quickly and confidently. This is something that anyone can learn with practice—it’s just a matter of giving yourself time to practice making tough calls before they really count.

Other traits are harder to learn, but they’re not impossible either. For example, you can’t teach someone how to be a good listener or how to have empathy for others—but there are ways to develop it as a leader. You can read books and articles on empathy, practice active listening skills, and find ways to put yourself in another person’s shoes.

There are also some leadership skills and traits that can’t be learned, like charisma or an ability to inspire others. These qualities often come from within the individual—they’re inborn, or they’re not there at all. Also, you can’t teach someone to be passionate about something they don’t care about. Passion comes from within, and you must identify what makes you feel alive if you want to lead others.


Jennifer Spinelli

Title: Founder & CEO

Company: Watson Buys

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-spinelli-itsm-consultant/

Can you learn certain leadership skills and traits?

There’s no simple answer to these questions. While some people may have a natural propensity for leadership, it’s certainly possible to learn and develop leadership skills. And in many cases, people who have the right mix of traits and skills can be more effective leaders than those who are simply born into the role.

What leadership skills and traits do you think cannot be learned?

#1. Emotional intelligence
Leaders need to be able to understand and control their own emotions, as well as the emotions of those around them. This can be a difficult skill to learn, but it’s essential for effective leadership.

#2. Strategic thinking
Strategic thinking is the ability to see the big picture and make decisions that will benefit the long-term goal, rather than just the immediate future. This is a critical skill for leaders, as it allows them to make decisions that will have a positive impact on their team or organization as a whole.


Ankit Batra

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Company: Hollyweed

Linkedin: https://in.linkedin.com/in/ankit-batra-28568884?

While some argue that leadership is an innate quality, others believe that it can be developed through experience and education. I support both sides of the argument.

There are definitely some leadership skills and traits that cannot be learned, at least not easily. Things like charisma, for instance, are very difficult to teach. Alternatively, history is full of examples of people who have risen to leadership positions after starting out with little experience or resources. The truth is likely somewhere in between. While some people may be born with certain leadership qualities, others can develop them over time. The key is to identify which skills and traits one needs to work on and then take steps to improve them. With dedication and hard work, anyone can become a great leader.


Deepanshu Bedi

Title: Marketing Director

Company: Holistapet

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepanshu-bedi/

Yes, leadership can be learned. While some people may be born with certain qualities that make them better suited to leadership roles, such as charisma and confidence, these traits can also be developed over time. Likewise, skills like effective communication and conflict resolution can be taught. In other words, while some people may have a head start when it comes to leadership, anyone has the potential to become a great leader with the right training and development.


Maxime Legardez

Title: CEO and Founder

Company: Makipeople

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maximelegardez/

It is often said that leaders are born, not made. However, for me, leadership skills and traits can be learned. While some people may be more naturally inclined towards leadership, everyone has the potential to develop the necessary skills.

One way to learn leadership skills is through formal education. Many colleges and universities offer courses in topics such as public speaking, group dynamics, and conflict resolution.

In addition, there are many books and online resources that can provide guidance on how to be an effective leader.

However, perhaps the best way to learn leadership skills is through experience. By taking on leadership roles in work, volunteer, or civic organizations, individuals can gain first-hand experience in dealing with challenges and making decisions. With practice, anyone can develop the skills and traits needed to be an effective leader.


Ed McManus

Title: Author

Company: Relationship Media

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/relationshipleadership/

Absolutely! And, in most cases, they are learned more so than instinctive.

How are they learned? Most of us act/behave in various situations based on our paradigm (frame of reference). When it comes to Leadership, I strongly believe that most true leaders have a Leadership paradigm they developed from past influences/situations. This can be anything from a parent, relative, friend, coach, authority figure, movie character, coworker, etc.

Additionally, there is the academic side of learning Leadership. There is a plethora of educational material available that covers the many dynamics of Leadership. If one is willing to extend the effort, they can become very knowledgeable in the field of Leadership. However, learning the many facets of Leadership won’t necessarily make you a true leader. It’s a bit more involved than taking a few classes and reading a few books.

With a strong Leadership paradigm and deep Leadership education, there is still more to being a leader. This is the step that not everyone is capable of and is a caveat of Leadership. It is “taking action.” Taking action defines the leader and they’re style of Leadership. Regardless of their Leadership paradigm and education, some simply don’t have what it takes to employ the appropriate action, and at the correct time. Taking action in and of itself is not necessarily Leadership.

Taking action is the skills part that comes with a learning curve. The most profound leaders weren’t immediate leaders. Knowing when and how to take action only gets better with practice. Leadership proficiency is a learned skill and based on the paradigm of having learned what works, and what doesn’t.

I don’t believe that the inability to learn Leadership skills exists. However, the one trait that everyone either has or they don’t, is the “desire” to lead. This can’t be taught. Either you want to lead, or you don’t. For those that want to, they will find a way. For those that don’t, well, the opportunity to be an excellent follower is before them.


Matthew Osborn

Title: CEO

Company: Legionary

Linkedin: N/A

Leadership theory can be taught, and students can learn the principles and ideology of leadership, but most people will never be able to utilize either in a practical setting. People are born to be either wolves or sheep, and the former will always be leaders and the latter will always be followers. It’s an inescapable truth of the human condition. Some were born to lead, and others were made to follow.


Eric Elggren

Title: CEO & Co-Founder

Company: Andar

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericelggren/

True leadership is oftentimes inherent, but certain leadership skills and traits can be learned. For example, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to someone’s communication skills, skills which are imperative for being a successful leader. Being able to problem solve, think ahead and bring people together are all leadership traits that can be achieved through improved communication, as long as a leader is willing to put in the extra time and effort to better themselves.


Tim Connon

Title: Founder, CEO

Company: ParamountQuote

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-connon-8a7684225/

Yes you can learn certain leadership skills and traits. You can learn how to carry yourself as a leader and give off the perception that you know what the right decisions are and have confidence in how you lead your team. You can also learn how to incentivise and train your team to duplicate yourself onto them. The main leader ship trait I do not think can be learned is the ability to think on your feet. This is something people naturally have and cannot be learned it is a situtational instinct that you can use in tough situations. This cannot be trained.


Maria Britton

Title: CEO

Company: Trade Show Labs

Linkedin: n/a

All leadership skills can be learned. To say that some people are born great leaders while others aren’t (and can’t become great) is simply too black and white. While some people may find aspects of leadership more natural or easy than others, everyone is capable of improvement. It just might take a little more time and effort for some people to get there than others.


Chris Stevenson

Title: CEO

Company: VirtualRealityRental Las Vegas

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/virtualrealityrental.co/about/

I think most, if not all, leadership skills can be learned. It may just take more time and more conscious efforts for some people to learn them – and that’s okay. What I’ve found is that with leadership, the best way to really learn is by doing. Yes, you can benefit from reading books and attending workshops, but you won’t really develop your skills until you actually practice them. The more you practice, the more comfortable you become, and the stronger a leader you develop into.


Andy Kalmon

Title: CEO

Company: Benny

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bennyfinancial/

I firmly believe that any and all leadership skills can be learned. While some people may find leadership more naturally easy than others, the truth is that nobody is a perfect leader. Therefore, every single person can learn and develop their skills to become better. When it comes to leadership specifically, the best way to learn the skills it requires is simply through intentional time and practice.


Roland Foss

Title: Senior Operations Manager

Company: Bellhop Movers

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roland-foss-77403914/

The ultimate answer here is going to be the unsatisfying one: Great leaders exhibit a healthy mix of inherent traits and predispositions, and throw in plenty of practice and experience from a young age. The aspects of this that can be learned, when well-executed, are definitely enough to make someone into an effective leader, but the truly great ones are going to be born to it. The way that certain people tend to draw energy from being in social situations can make them better able to exist in spaces where they can learn the interpersonal skills to become great leaders more easily.


Steve Elliott

Title: Franchise Owner

Company: Restoration1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/restoration-1-headquarters

“Vision” is the ability to see things that others cannot or before they can. Visionary individuals may often predict the outcome of a game before it even begins. The issue for such visionaries is convincing others to support their vision. This may be a very unpleasant procedure for people with this trait because their coworkers, particularly in healthcare, are so accustomed to doing things a certain way and can be resistant to change. This is a quality that can be trained to some extent through the use of decision-making processes and tools, but individuals with natural vision can achieve the same or better direction more effectively with a greater knowledge of the most crucial variable, the human element.


Max Whiteside

Title: SEO & Content Lead

Company: Breaking Muscle

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxwhiteside/

Risk-taking is a prerequisite for leadership. By accepting the post, the leader has accepted a degree of inherent risk. The leader must be willing to accept both the positive and negative results that may arise. The leader must be prepared for a variety of hazards, including reputational risk, career risk, interpersonal risk, and financial risk. Being at the head of the team or organization exposes the leader to possible arrows pointed in their direction. If a leader is unable to handle criticism or unfavorable input, they may want to consider a different role.


Loren Howard

Title: Founder Of Prime Plus Mortgages

Company: Prime Plus Mortgages

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenhoward/

I think most leadership skills can be taught and learned, mostly how to motivate and coach your team, but i think one skill is human empathy that can’t be taught. in order to be a great leader you need to be able to handle the emotions of many different people in high pressure situations with a skill that not everyone can learn.


Carter Seuthe

Title: CEO

Company: Credit Summit

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carter-seuthe/

I believe people can absolutely learn leadership skills. While some people are, yes, naturally born leaders, other people can be educated and assisted to one day be just as good of a leader as well! I think teaching leadership skills starts in the classroom at a young age, and is fostered in the home as well. Let your child lead you with what they want to do and see and hear and touch, and you will be nurturing a future leader in your home.


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