It is never too late to become what you want to be. This book is about becoming a more skillful leader. It's designed to provide you with the tools to be what people label a "natural born leader." The need for leaders has always been important, and it has never been more urgent. The constant, accelerating, unpredictable change in today's competitive environment demands more and better leadership. People at all organizational levels and in all sectors want to be inspired. They want direction through the chaos created by uncertainty. People want to commit to important results that serve themselves and others. These needs define the locus of leadership. Those perceived to be "born leaders" fulfill these needs. Such natural born leaders offer courses of action through uncertain waters and create commitment toward destinations that make a difference. The traditional view holds that natural born leaders are rare commodities. I call this the "right stuff" myth. It implies that only a few people own the abilities and have the necessary ingredients, the elusive "right stuff," to be leaders. If this is true, then we might as well pack it in and stop wasting all the time, money, and effort spent
to improve leadership. We should simply acknowledge that most people just do not have these special ingredients. We should direct people to keep their heads down, hope that a few "real leaders" will come along, and muddle our way through.