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. As a matter of fact, countless careers have been made just so we can develop leadership qualities in use. For so many years, there have been tons of leadership books, research papers, newspaper and online articles and business reviews that were written, discussed, lectured in countless seminars, career building opportunities and symposiums 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? It is common knowledge though, that effective leaders are to some extent, born.
This would mean that there are individuals born with the disposition that helps them along to become effective leaders. While genetics do play a role, it cannot be denied that leaders can also be “made” in the sense that leadership qualities are inculcated through life experiences and forma developmental training. In this regard, being an effective and successful leader means that a person can make sound decisions and set priorities even in uncertain situations or environments; regardless of economic and technological changes. In addition, effective and successful leaders are people capable of balancing and often conflicting demands from their clients, subordinates, superiors and even family members. But what of these “leadership” qualities that a person is born with? Characteristics such as being results oriented, conscientiousness, extroversion and emotional stability have been known to make it easier for certain people to pursue experiences that develop them as leaders. In fact, these characteristics have consistently been proven effective in various areas of organizations, nations and sectors.
Looking at this from the “Leaders are made” point of view, although it is true that characteristics people are born with mean zip when these characteristics are not honed through development of communication skills, people skills and cultural intelligence. So, putting the two perspectives: the “leaders are made” and leaders are born” together, people that are inherently conscientious, extroverted, open to new experiences, intelligent and emotionally stable have a tendency to seek out leadership building experiences however, it is also necessary that these same people realize their leadership potential through formal education, targeted leadership training and career enhancing work history. 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.