What advice would you have for a person seeking to become a CAE? I have plenty of experience performing audits, but am not sure about leadership. My current CAE is not a strong leader, so I really do not have a role model. Is the ability to lead something that can be developed, or is it something that comes naturally? I would appreciate any advice, resources, and personal experience you can share with me.
Certainly leadership has to be developed since childhood. If you didn't have this opportunity and need it quickly than raise your voice on every issue, offer a solution, ask for resources. Also current leaders tend to speak non-stop (that's I don't like).
Speak to your CAE and HR about your desire to take on more responsibilities. This should trigger HR to examine your strengths and weaknesses and hopefully your organization will fund professional development opportunities to strengthen your leadership skills. You may need a few years to develop all the skills to become a CAE. This should come out of the discussions you have with your CAE and HR.
While some seem to be natural leaders, leadership skills can be learned and applied and eventually will become internalized.
I would suggest looking through the CPE offerings of the IIA that focus on skills for new auditors in charge, etc. for the basics; and for hands-on experience, I would suggest volunteering with your local IIA chapter, where I'm sure you'll come into contact with experienced and skilled leaders, as well as opportunities for developing your own leadership skills.