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Leaders Ought to Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership by Phillip Van Hooser

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Chapter 1

Choosing to Lead

Ground Rule #1
All leaders are born, but none are born leaders;
Leadership is a choice, reinforced by individual effort.

Born Leaders—The Myth

Okay, I’ve got to admit it: I’m encouraged. I’m encouraged because it appears that you are genuinely interested in leadership, either for yourself or for others. By now, you’ve seen the cover of this book and have possibly scanned the table of contents—and you’re still here. That’s a good sign—because people without a genuine interest in leadership (and sadly there are many, though for the life of me, I cannot understand why) simply wouldn’t have gotten to this paragraph. They likely would have bypassed this title completely, opting instead for some riveting work of fiction—dealing with vampires, illicit love affairs, or some complicated plot surrounding international espionage.

But, as we know, leadership isn’t fiction. Leadership is real—real life, real time, and real important.

Oh, and thankfully—leadership can be learned.

I recently had a rather animated conversation with an individual who, for some misguided reason, didn’t share my belief that leaders are not born but made. He tried repeatedly (and unsuccessfully) to convince me that a leader either has it or doesn’t have it from birth—though I was never quite able to get this gentleman to specifically define what the it is.

I find his assertion to be very troubling—and here’s why. If this man is right (and I don’t for a moment believe he is), then there ...

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