Are leaders born or made?

Topics: Leadership, Leadership development, Management Pages: 3 (733 words) Published: March 4, 2014
Are leaders born or made?
Defining what best describes leaders, followed by the debate based on the assumption that some authors agree that leaders are born, some that leaders are mixture of inborn and taught qualities and others try to prove that leaders are made. Finally, it will summarise the findings and consider each view to draw a conclusion and answer the question if there is such a thing as natural ability to lead which some people are born with and others not, or if not could this be taught? Most authors will agree that leader’s whether born or made possess certain attributes such as commitment, passion, motivation and ability to develop and pass the vision (Cacioppe 1998, Ackhoff 2005, Brungardt 2013). Furthermore they own capability to inspire and influence the followers, like an orchestra conductors (Popper 2005, Lloyd 1994). Nevertheless, despite the common characteristic of a leader, due to a complex nature of leadership researchers and authors continue the on-going debate whether leaders are born to be leaders or made to become a leader. Based on the theory that leaders require talent to articulate vision that inspires, which is not a transmittable skill but innate quality, Ackoff (2005) reassures that leaders are born. Leaders are born with the ability to reinforce values, initiate change, hence those behaviours require charisma, compassion and intelligence, skills which are inherit not acquired and those distinguish leaders from their followers (Shane, 2010). Nevertheless Rowley (1997) makes the point that innate traits are very important for a successful leader, however it cannot be viewed solely as a determinant of a good leader, as inborn qualities still need development and encouragement; therefore successful leaders are a combination of genetic and acquired factors (Elmuti et al. 2005, Mullins 2007). Arguably Smith (2000, cited by Elmuti et al. 2005) disagrees with the myth about natural ability to lead. He proposes that leaders are...


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