Can one really become a leader?
Yes and No! OK, before we get into this debate lets understand who a leader is. To me leader is one who influences me. This influence can be broader at life level or very specific to a skill level.
We usually identify a leader with those in the limelight, the celebrities. A megastar from cinema, a great sportsperson, or that celebrated scientist. Of course they do influence people. But until I know someone personally, individually, do I really know that person? My answer is a NO. We know about them as much the media tells. We can of course get some inspiration from them but they dont influence me! Or they do at much higher level.
I have come across many "normal" human beings who have been extremely influential to people around them. They influence not through money/power, but through their skills in a specific domain/field.
Few years back in one of my teams I had a team lead who was not a great speaker but communicated so well with his team and the customer teams. He spoke technology with conviction, did not leave any issue until resolved. For me he was an influence. He was a true leader. He did not try to influence people. He just did!
That's what is great about leaders, they just are, they dont try to be. And that's why I feel no one becomes a leader, they already are. May be one can realize that they are when someone tells them or through some incidents.
We all should strive to find that skill/domain/field in which we can contribute and make an influence, make an impact, and bring a positive change. That will be leadership.
Leadership is not about a designation/role/position its about the influence and impact.
Leadership is an art that one is born with. The lessons or training sessions on leadership can teach the science part. But those will be of no use without the art of it.
Find your niche in which you can influence, then learn the science to make maximum impact.