LEADERS ARE BORN NOT MADE There have been an age long debate, and humans since beginning of time, have tried to come up with an answer to this question – Are Leaders born or are they made?. This question has generated an age long debate, which in turn has resulted in various school of thoughts, some believe that leaders are born, while others think otherwise. My contribution to this lifelong debate will serve as a pointer to my position on this issue. I strongly believe that leaders are born and not made. Who is a Leader? - “A leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, and creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team but, instead, the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of the Venture.” (Ashoka's Youth Venture 2009) Leaders are those that are posses this drive to push and move others when situations and circumstances are not favorable and unwilling, leaders are not special breed of people, neither are they super humans, born with great abilities but they are those that are ready to make people that are around them, tap into their subconscious to bring out the extra drive needed to complete a task or create a change. I strongly believe, that a leader is one that sees and recognizes solutions in problems and issue, and, he or she is ready and willing to motivate all the resources at his or her disposal to bring out a favorable outcome. “A leader is a person who has a vision, a drive and a commitment to achieve that vision, and the skills to make it happen” (Reh 2012) Peter Drucker, renowned management consultant and social ecologist points out that a leader that is highly effective is the one that is a team player and a people person. (EDBERG 2006) In the same speech he also states that they (Leaders) understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we”(the team) gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done. There are core leadership qualities that are attributed to “great” and “effective” leaders; these qualities form the basis on which they build and exhibit exemplary behaviors that separates them from other people. There are qualities that are inborn. These innate abilities can be summarized into the following; Result Oriented, Ambition, Passion, Creativity and Innovation, Focus, Honesty and Integrity, Confidence, Motivation, Persistence; these qualities form the bedrock or foundation upon which other acquired skills are built
For the purpose of clarity and understanding, these qualities will be grouped into two, namely – innate abilities and acquired skills. Like I earlier pointed out innate abilities are those that an individual is born with, they are key leadership qualities. “And Leaders who possess the requisite traits (qualities) must take certain actions to be successful (e.g. formulating a vision, role modeling, setting goals). Possessing the appropriate traits only makes it more likely that such actions will be taken and be successful”. (Locke 1991) There are proofs to support these claims that some great leaders are born to be leaders because of their natural abilities. Let us dive into each of these qualities. Result Oriented. This is a quality that most people are born with, some are born with the ability to set and achieve goals, the act of setting and achieving goals is an ability a good leader must have, because behind every task, there is an expected result, I believe the whole purpose of leadership is centered on this premise. Another quality great leaders possess is Ambition, Ambition. Leaders are very ambitious about their work and careers and have a desire to get ahead. “To advance, leaders actively take steps to demonstrate their drive and determination. Ambition impels leaders to set hard, challenging goals for themselves and their organizations. Walt...
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