Leaders and Where They Come From
Genetics vs. Life Experiences
Harold R. Andrews
Saint Leo University
The question in part is…” are leaders born or made”. The old adage natural born leader is unresponsive because as Dr. Daniel Maltby (n.d.) wrote, “volumes of research have been written. But there is little to no conclusive evidence either way. The topic of leadership remains elusive.” Maltby continued by writing “This question continues to dominate the study of leadership today.” Maltby was referencing the research that has been conducted arguing the born or made question. I believe there is a lot to be said for both views on the subject. I think there are some genetic qualities that are passed on and I also believe the nurturing process also holds prominence in developing traits for promising leaders. I firmly believe that people will rise to the occasion. Lead, follow or get out of the way. I first heard that statement at the US Army Non-commissioned Officers Academy. To cite who originally said it is a debate all its own. For purposes of this writing the author will be unknown. I believe that in times of opportunity people will do one of the three, lead, follow or get out of the way. Recall the number of times that normal, ordinary people have risen to the occasion when formal leadership was not there. There are countless stories of heroic style leadership arising in disastrous situations. Ordinary people have always risen like cream rising to the top of fresh milk. On the other hand outstanding individuals in all aspects of competitive team organizations may be at the top of their game in abilities, but that is not what leadership is. In researching the concept of leadership it is found that there are literally thousands of theoretical leadership traits, concepts and behaviors. The basis of contention is so broad and with so many opinions even the US...
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