Wherever people have to work together to accomplish a common goal, leadership is always an important factor at play. Leadership has always been and always would be an interesting topic for a lot of people. In fact, careers and industries have been built towards the development or inculcation of leadership qualities in people. For the past few years, countless of books; magazine, newspaper and online articles; research studies; business reviews have been written; taught; debated over in thousands of universities; laboratories; offices; symposiums and seminars all over the world. Considering all the effort and that an entire industry has been built on the development of leadership, a question does come to mind: are leaders born or made? To begin with, we are all well aware of how there are people that, to some extent, were born to lead.
This only means that you would find people that were born with dis-positional and genetic tendencies that make them a good fit for leadership. While genetic disposition is an important factor, you cannot deny the fact that there is a huge possibility that leaders can be “made” through a series of life experiences and formal, developmental training. As such, to be an effective leader means a person is capable of making effective and sound decisions even in uncertain situations and in the midst of technological or economic change. An effective leader is also one that is capable of balancing various demands from different people: customers; subordinates; superiors and even family. If that is so, then what of the qualities that people are born with that make them effective leaders later on? Emotional stability, conscientiousness, extroversion, perseverance and being open to new experiences contribute a lot to the foundation of a person to becoming an effective leader. In fact, these characteristics have proven to be quite helpful across various organizations, nations and levels of organization.
When we look at this from the point of view of those that believe leaders are made, genetic tendencies towards effective leadership are honed by continuous development of oral and written communications skills; charisma and cultural intelligence; talents that are often measured through interviews and personality assessment tests. Putting the perspectives of “leaders are born” and “leaders are made” together, we find that in-born characteristics help people seek out life experiences that develop them as leaders and that proper training on career development and skills are also necessary for success. Individuals as we know are born with different inclinations towards virtues like courage, truthfulness, prudence, humanness; and only through practicing these virtues on a daily basis can full leadership potential be achieved.