Are Leaders Born or Made?

A study reported in the Washington Post speculated that there is a “leadership gene” that determines one’s leadership abilities based on their genetic makeup. If there’s anything we learned from Mustang: the Story, it’s that hard work and determination are the real factors in leadership potential. According to Bill Higgs, author of Mustang: The Story and co-founder of Mustang Engineering, those genes just get you a “seat at the table.”  

bill higgs

Higgs will be sharing his leadership expertise next week at Vistage in Greenville, South Carolina. Vistage brings together executive leaders to help them expand on their leadership abilities and share business experience for learning and inspiration.

Higgs’ sessions will explain that the real work of becoming a great leader comes in as you are made into someone that others trust and respect to guide, not only the company in which you started, but also with the people you rely upon.

Higgs believes, “It is not all roses…there are thorns when working an organization. We always said ‘There is a little bit of Hell in every project. How you handle the Hell, or the thorns, will determine how good the project will be.’ Taking care of people and projects needs to be the leader’s ‘Come from place’ in order to create a culture that easily handles the thorns while enjoying the roses.”

Great leaders are indeed made, and Higgs stresses that they must first establish a clear vision and values that are robustly and frequently communicated across the company. And as all good leaders eventually realize, the hardest part of their success is getting the organization to reflect that philosophy and drive.  But once they do, energy and enthusiasm is a force multiplier, and that will help lead an organization to success.

Looking to inspire leaders in your organization? Schedule Bill Higgs to speak at your next event by emailing Jeni Bukolt at, or calling Haven Creative at 704.256.4008.

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