Leadership is something that is developed over time, it’s not something you are born with.

According to Bernard Bass, there are three ways a person can become a leader:

  1. Trait Theory: this is where personality traits lead people into leadership roles. There are only a few people out there who intrinsically have the traits to be a natural leader.
  2. Great Event Theory: Usually occurs through an event that forces greatness and leadership from an individual. This usually happens because the event made the person realise they had qualities they didn’t even know they had.
  3. Transformational Leadership Theory: This theory states that people choose to be leaders, and as a result, teach themselves leadership techniques. Thus being the most common of the three techniques.

Now that we understand how one can become a leader, what sort of qualities does a leader need to possess in order to be a great mentor?

  1. Before you can mentor an individual, you need to be sure of your plan. A vision! These need to inspire people, so much so that they are ready to believe in your vision and execute your plan.
  2. An effective mentor knows their strengths and weaknesses, and they also know how to maximise on all of them.
  3. You need to have a cool head on your shoulders. Be calm under pressure.
  4. Flexibility is a huge MUST HAVE.
  5. A mentor and leader needs to know how to easily diffuse conflict.

One also needs to realise that it is very hard to mentor, without being a leader.

Want to learn more about how to become a great leader and mentor? Why not check out our blog on Be a Mentor and a Leader, or How To Be An Effective Mentor?

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