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Seeing Yourself as a Leader

Seeing Yourself as a Leader

Update: 2023-11-291



Are leaders born or made?

University of Michigan Ross School of Business professor Sue Ashford has studied leadership for decades—what makes people see themselves as leaders and how groups choose leaders among them. She says that leadership does come more easily to some than others, but that leadership is dynamic and only as real as a group decides. It’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not.

“People grant a leader identity by their willingness to follow someone. So, if you take the chalk and go to the board and start writing things, am I starting a side conversation with someone else and paying you no attention, or am I following along, adding to your structure, your list? And by doing that, I’m reinforcing that I’m willing to go with you for this bit of time,” Ashford explains.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to cultivate leadership within yourself and those you manage. You’ll also learn about alternative models, like shared leadership, that can benefit any team.

Key episode topics include: leadership, managing people, managing employees, managing yourself, leadership qualities, leading teams.

HBR On Leadership curates the best case studies and conversations with the world’s top business and management experts, to help you unlock the best in those around you. New episodes every week.

· Listen to the original HBR IdeaCast episode: Why Everyone Should See Themselves as a Leader (2017)

· Find more episodes of HBR IdeaCast

· Discover 100 years of Harvard Business Review articles, case studies, podcasts, and more at









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Seeing Yourself as a Leader

Seeing Yourself as a Leader