“Leadership is so key to helping animals.” That’s how Gregory Castle opened his presentation, Learning to Lead, at the 2015 Best Friends Animal Society Conference.
With that simple yet profound statement in mind, how do we create more leaders? Are people born to lead, or can leadership be taught?
Castle, one of the founders and now CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, believes some people do have certain traits that make them more natural leaders. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find out if you’re one of them:
- Do you naturally take charge?
- Do others look to you?
- Are you uncomfortable when no one is deciding?
- Do you have natural charisma and authority?
If you’re not “born to lead?” Don’t worry, you don’t have to be. Learning to lead is possible. “I don’t think it has to be born into you, but it’s a good quality if it is,” he said. Having a passion for your cause certainly helps.
And if you’re not a natural leader, Castle has another suggestion: Find a good mentor. “If you have the ability to connect with someone who can mentor you in a leadership role, it’s of tremendous value,” he said. “They can give you a little more than just knowledge or fact. They have the ability to give you confidence, pump you up, and help you see that you’re capable.”
Castle also shares that there are tons of books on leadership as well as resources online. He recommends reading to get specific tips and pointers. Although he does disclose, “I learned more from people than reading… but maybe that was just me.”
So whether you’re born to lead or willing to learn, watch the rest of his presentation now, and then apply those principles to help lead your organization and save more lives!