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Leadership: "Born-to-be or Made-to-be?" | Đắc Nhân Tâm

Leadership: “Born-to-be or Made-to-be?”

I remember that I have read just some materials related to this huge term and topic. Although the concept of leader and leadership may stand strange and vague to almost people, I hope that after reading this article, you can make your own assumption that leader and leadership are made-to-be, not born-to-be. Therefore, to become a leader, we must take various kinds of inputs and actions including nature, theoretical and practical experiences, self-reflection, and so on. Wish you all the best in exploring your leadership!


  • Leadership is Distributed. That is, leadership is not solely the purview of the CEO, but can and should permeate all levels of the firm.
  • Leadership is Personal and Developmental. There is no single way to lead. The best way to create change is to work with the particular capabilities that you have, while constantly working to improve and expand those capabilities.
  • Leadership is a Process to Create Change. Leadership is about making things happen, contingent on a context. Leaders may create change by playing a central role in the actual change process, or by creating an environment in which others are empowered to act.
  • Leadership Develops Over Time. It is through practice, reflection, following role models, feedback, and theory that we learn leadership.


Leadership framework


Sensemaking is about “making sense of the world around us”. The act of Sensemaking is discovering the new terrain as you are inventing it. In the very process of mapping the new terrain, you are creating it.

Tips for Sensemaking:

  • Seek many types and sources of data.
  • Involve others in your sensemaking.
  • Do not simply apply your existing frameworks and overlay them on the situation.
  • Move beyond stereotypes.
  • Learn from small experiments.
  • Use images, metaphors, or stories to try to capture and communicate critical elements of your map.


Relating is about “developing key relationships withint and across organisations” and consists of the following three primary components:

  1. Inquiry which is the ability to listen and understand what others are thinking and feeling. It also involves trying to understand how the other person has moved from data to interpretation to assessment, rather than simply reacting to the assessment itself.
  2. Advocacy which involves taking a stand and trying to influence others of its merits while also being open to alternative views.
  3. Connecting which is the ability to build collaborative relationships with others and to create coalitions for change.

Tips for effective connecting are:

  • Understand the perspective of others within the organization and withhold judgment while listening to them.
  • Encourage others to voice their opinions.
  • Be clear about your stand and how you reached it.
  • Think about how others might react to your idea and how you might best explain it to them.
  • Think about your connections.


While sensemaking creates a map of what is, visioning is a map of what could be. Visions are important because they provide the motivation for people to give up their current views and ways of working in order to change. Perhaps most importantly, visioning provides people with a sense of meaning about their work. It answers the question “why am I doing this?” Thus good leaders are able to frame visions in a way that emphasizes their importance along some key value dimensions.

Tips for effective Visioning are:

  • Develop a vision about something that excites you or that you think is important.
  • Frame the vision with an ideological goal.
  • Use stories, metaphors and analogies to paint a vivid picture of what the vision will accomplish.
  • Practice creating a vision in many arenas.
  • Enable co-workers by pointing out that they have the skills and capabilities needed to realize the vision.
  • Embody the key values and ideas contained in the vision – “walk the talk.”


Creating is about the creation of new ways of woking together. Inventing entails creating the processes and structures needed to make the vision a reality. It involves implementing the steps needed to achieve our vision of the future.

Tips for effective inventing include:

  • Maintain focus on improving the ways that people work together in your team and organization.
  • When a new task or change effort emerges, think through how it will get done—who will do what, by when, and in what configuration.
  • Play with new and different ways of organizing work—examine alternative ways of grouping people together, organizing their internal interaction, and linking across different groups.
  • Blend sensemaking and inventing.


Furthermore, the reflections of “leader” can be interpreted in 4 parts of SELF. Look at them, you can have a self-reflection of what core values you have formed, the kind of leader you are right now, what is still untouched and the leader you want to be in the future. Because leadership is made-to-be, so it can be or even must be formed, developed and also changed continuingly and selectively time after time.


Reflections: 4 parts of SELF

Phạm Kỳ Anh

Bài dự thi sự kiện Chia Sẻ Giá Trị Đắc Nhân Tâm 

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