Are Leaders Born or Made? Discuss

June 4, 2018 Communication

The question, ‘Who ought to be boss? ‘ is like asking ‘Who ought to be the tenor in the quartet? ‘ Obviously, the man who can sing tenor. This poses to us other questions like; do you think a leader should be a hero or a negotiator? Out in front, leading people or coordinating the work of the group? Are you destined to be a leader or developed to be a leader? The way we think about leadership affects how we perceive the leaders around us.

For instance, if we expect a leader to be a hero, we are likely to see someone who takes charge to save the day as a good leader and someone who asks everyone’s opinions and lets the group make decisions as weak. Alternatively, if we think a leader should be collaborative and focused on making sure decisions arise from the group, we would view someone who is directive as aggressive or a tyrant. In the same way, our beliefs about how people become leaders affect how we evaluate people’s leadership potential. Believing people who are born leaders is likely to result in focus more of selection (identify the right people) rather than on development (develop the people you get). On the other hand, believing that people are made into leaders by their experiences would be more likely to result in a greater focus on making sure people had the right opportunities to develop into leaders. This note clearly throws more light on Leadership, who a leader is, the characteristics of a good leader and for a fact if leaders are Born or Made. What is Leadership? Leadership is the ability to guide, direct or influence others to follow in a certain course to achieve a particular objective.

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Barnard (1938), defined Leadership as ability of the superior to influence the behavior of the subordinates and persuade them to follow a particular course of action. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. This definition is similar to Northouse’s (2007, p3) definition of Leadership which says it is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. This therefore draws our attention to the next question who is a leader.

Who is a Leader? A leader is a person who guides others towards a goal, or inspires them to believe in first and foremost themselves and things around them. A leader possesses qualities such as confidence, persuasion, and motivation. A leader can also be said to be someone who takes charge of situations for the benefit of others. They are usually strong willed, smart, and dedicated to whatever they have to do. There are certain traits or characteristics that should be seen in a good leader, some of which were mentioned earlier but will be generally discussed below.

Characteristics of a Great Leader There are essentially five characteristics of great leaders. The first of these is; Flexibility. Everything does not go as planned; Competitors change tactics, governments force new regulations on business, strikes stop the flow of products, and, occasionally, natural disasters occur. And in times like these, leaders have to be able to change course; that is, first make sure their businesses will survive, and then find a new way to reach their goals. The second characteristic about a leader is his/her ability to communicate.

Some leaders are great orators, but speaking well isn’t all that’s required of a leader. As we all know, there are lots of people who talk a great game but deliver nothing. Leaders who communicate well are those who not only share their thoughts with employees, but also let their strength and personal character show through in their communication, and empower those who work for them by defining the company’s goal and showing how to get there. The third necessary characteristic is the combination of humility and presence. Acting aloof, or above your employees, does not make a leader.

Leaders have to be able to talk and listen to their employees on all levels of the company. At the same time, they must have the respect of their employees, the kind of respect that’s earned by being honest, having integrity, and being tough but fair. Other characteristics of a good leader are having courage, tenacity, and patience. A Born Leader One being said to be born a leader has brought about various arguments, points and facts on Leadership as a whole. To clarify, a born leader has more to do with personality than skill or knowledge, in fact there are four (4) specific personality traits that define a born leader.

A natural born leader will test extremely high in areas of Social ability – in the sense of his or her interaction with those led by them, Self Confidence – self-assurance or a belief in his or her ability to succeed, the level of confidence in his or her ability, Assertiveness – the ability to overcome shyness and exert confident in stating a position, and Boldness – showing fearlessness, being daring, and often originality. A Made Leader A made leader unlike a born leader isn’t born with leadership traits but acquire them in the course of living, making mistakes and learning. Powell (2005) said “Effective leaders are made, not born”.

They learn from try and error, and from experience. When something fails, a true leader learns from the experience and puts it behind him. “You don’t get reruns in life,” he said. “Don’t worry about what happened in the past. ” Evaluation After a critical look at the strength and weakness of both made and born leader which is stated below, the writer stand with the motion that “Great Leader are Made and not Born”. Here are some of the reasons why: A made leader is experienced. Leaders learn by trying things out and then critiquing their performance. The only failure they recognize is the failure to learn from experience.

Leadership can be thought. Leadership can be learned by anyone with the basics. But an awful lot of leadership cannot be taught. That’s because leadership is an apprentice trade. Leaders learn about 80 percent of their craft on the job. Made Leaders improve by getting feedback and using it. The best leaders seek feedback from their boss, their peers and their subordinates. Then they modify their behavior so that they get better results. A made leader is fast in recovering from a failed attempt on a decision made, because his mind is set on getting a better solution to the problem at hand.

On the other hand a Born Leader, is careless, since he seems to be born a leader. A born leader leads with Bureaucratic and Authoritarian style of leadership. Conclusion In conclusion, the above factors of the features of both made and born leaders depict the fact of my assertion that great leaders are made but not born, this does not dispute the fact that most people are of the opinion that there are born leaders, even so, emphasizing is been placed on the fact that “Great Leaders are those made and not born.


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