Are Leaders Born or Made? 3

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Table of Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………3

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………...4

Great Man Theory…………………………………………………………………….4

Trait Theory…………………………………………………………………………...6

Great Man and Trait Theories…………………………………………………………8

Are Leaders Born or Made?...........................................................................................8

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………..9

References……………………………………………………………………….…….10 Abstract

Leadership itself has been accompanied throughout time, by numerous theories, all claiming to answer the question, Are leaders born or made? The leadership theory which concentrates on this point is the Great man theory. The other theory in which I chose is trait theories and these theories are similar in some ways to "Great Man" theories, trait theories assume that people inherit certain qualities and traits that make them better suited to leadership. Trait theories often identify particular personality or behavioral characteristics shared by leaders. If particular traits are key features of leadership, then how do we explain people who possess those qualities but are not leaders? This question is one of the difficulties in using trait theories to explain leadership.

Are Leaders Born or Made?
Leaders grow; they are not made.
- Peter Drucker “The Leader of the Future”, (c) 1996

Introduction
Determining what it takes to become a good leader who is receptively influential, compassionate, communicative, and dynamic, has long been up for debate between those who support various theories. Two of the most examined, which call upon the inherent are perhaps even genetic aspects of leadership qualification are the Great Man and Trait theories. Both theories conclude that leadership ability is born not made; however, the Great Man theory presumes this is acquired from family pedigree, while the Trait theory assigns a number of commonly shared characteristics that indicate a more heritable aptitude toward capable leadership. The Great Man Theory

The Great Man theory states that there are two basic assumptions; that leaders are born and not made, and the second assumption is that great leaders will come up when there is a need. This theory was developed from an early research which included the study of great leaders. The early leaders came from the privileged class and held hereditary titles. Very few people from the lower class had the opportunity to take a lead. The Great Man theory was based on the idea that whenever there is a need of leadership, a Great Man would arise and solve the problems. When the Great Man theory was proposed, most of the leaders were males and therefore, the gender issues were not negotiable. Even the researchers were male, which was the reason for the name of the theory being 'Great Man Theory'. Much of the work on this theory was done in the 19th century and is often linked to the work of the historian Thomas Carlyle who commented on the great men or heroes of the history saying that “the history of the world is but the biography of great men”. According to him, a leader is the one gifted with unique qualities that capture the imagination of the masses. The great man theory of leadership states that some people are born with the necessary attributes that set them apart from others and that these traits are responsible for their assuming positions of power and authority. A leader is a hero who accomplishes goals against all odds for his followers. The theory implies that those in power deserve to be there because of their special endowment. Furthermore, the theory contends that these traits remain stable over time and across different groups. The theory suggests that all great leaders share these characteristic regardless of when and where they lived or the precise role in the history they fulfilled.

Early research on leadership was based on the study of people who were already great leaders. These people...
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