"Work hard! Sounds simplistic, but being a great leader is a skill that can be learned—provided you’re willing to work at it hard enough. Analyze the actions and approaches of leaders you admire, read books on the subject, and experiment in your style. See what works for you and do more of the same.
We once thought that tomorrow’s leaders were gems waiting to be discovered. Now we know they can be manufactured—as long as the ‘raw material’ is a willing participant."
Sorry to say, the above quote from the Forbes article by David Amerland is wrong. Once people mature to working adult age, their hard wiring, personality characteristics are pretty well set and cannot be changed in a whole scale way (short of a mind altering accident or injury.)
For example, if a "willing participant" scores 6% out of 100% in Leadership Energy (on our CDR Leadership Character Assessment), despite their intelligence and education, they will not be well suited for a leadership role. Now, on the other hand, if someone has a mid-range score or a pulse on Leadership Energy, then yes, training and development may make all the difference.
We've coached Ph.D.'s who were in leadership roles because they were effective communicators or the best in their fields, yet they scored under 10% in Leadership Energy. In every case, they were miserable (as were the people around them) and the leadership aspects of their jobs were draining and detracting from what they were really good at -- research, product development (for patents), etc.
To this matter, check out the Wall Street Journal article by Jared Sandberg titled "How I Survived Tests That Introduced Me To My Inner Executive" (3/10/04)