I have found that most successful leaders began their role in leadership at an early age – sometimes a very early age. Often the first leadership roles are in high school, college or the community. I have also found that pushing an older individual contributor into a leadership role is most often a failure.
The lesson is to get into leadership roles as early as you can so you can continually develop those skills. I have been in leadership roles all my life and am still learning and refining my skills. For the parents in the audience, it is never too early to start talking about leadership with your children.
Leaders are made, not born. Learning to be a leader is not complicated but it is hard. Get started as early in life as possible and recognize that becoming a great leader is a lifelong journey.