Is Leadership Caught or Taught?

by | Dec 10, 2019

We know that the habits of the people around us can be contagious – for better or worse – but what about their leadership skills?  If you work closely with great leaders, is it possible to become a great leader without any effort on your part? In other words, can you catch leadership or is it something that’s learned?

My answer? We can learn a lot from observing those around us, but it takes focused action to change our habits and become leaders. 

Here’s why: growing and developing effective leadership skills requires understanding of how to cultivate relationships, develop your mission, establish your brand, define your values and build your company culture. It’s about being able to see the big picture while paying attention to small details. That information isn’t going to just rub off on you when you spend time with leaders you respect and admire.

In previous blog posts, I’ve discussed “5 Great Leadership Qualities,” and “What is Emotional Intelligence & Why is it Important?” These posts discuss aspects of leadership that are often overlooked, but are qualities that should be learned for personal leadership growth and taught for the benefit of your business.

I’m going to touch on a few points from those posts here, but I would strongly encourage you to go back and take a look at them in their entirety.

In “5 Great Leadership Qualities,” I list the following qualities that should be an essential part of your personal leadership study and training for the growth of your team:

1) Vision

2) Positive Attitude

3) Trustworthiness

4) Good Communication

5) Commitment

Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby

Founder & CEO of RedRock Leadership

During the course of his professional career, he has worked in organizations ranging in size from a sole practitioner to Fortune 500. Included in his experience are roles in starting and selling companies, sales and sales management, training and development and executive coaching.

RedRock Leadership is a sales training and leadership development company committed to growing companies by growing individuals through on-going training infused with the competencies of emotional intelligence.


If you want to be a great leader, you need to have a targeted approach for integrating each one of these qualities into your personal growth.  Think of great leaders you know and observe how they live out each of these qualities. Once you have your answer, determine how you can adapt it to best fit your behavioral style and business.  

To be a good communicator you must listen with intent to understand those around you while understanding how your emotional intelligence (EQ) shapes your responses.

Consider these questions:

  1.  How much are you actually listening to your team?
  2. Do you understand the behavior styles and strengths of those working for your business?
  3. What motivates the members of your team?
  4. What concerns do they have? 

Feeling confident about your ability to positively answer these questions hinge upon your EQ.  Good leaders might know how to explain something, but great leaders know how each member of their team learns and they leverage that knowledge to help them grow.

The business world is a fast-moving and ever-changing place to be, which is why it is important to understand and be aware of your emotions. Understanding how your emotions affect your behavior, the behavior of those around you, and learning how to identify and manage those emotions in a variety of situations can make or break the outcome of a situation.  Developing your EQ, and the EQ of your team is a very important skill that every great leader must be taught. 

Great leadership is something that should be contagious in the sense that it should inspire us to take action and become great leaders ourselves. The more we develop those skills and live them out, the greater the opportunity we have to inspire those around us and transform our entire businesses into a culture of great leadership.  

Learn about out our RedRock Leadership Membership plans and upcoming sales and leadership bootcamps to help you develop the leadership skills you need to transform your company culture and unleash the potential for exponential growth!