Are leaders born or made?

Powerful Essays
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



Bibliography: Ackhoff, R.L. (2005) What constitutes leadership and why it can’t be taught. Handbook of Business Strategy, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp.193-195. Allio, R.J. (2005) Leadership development: teaching versus learning. Management Decision, Vol. 43 No. 7/8, pp. 1071-1077. Brungardt, C.(2013) The Making of Leaders: A Review of the Research in Leadership Development and Education. The Journal of Leadership Studies, Vol.3 No.3, pp. 80-95. Cacioppe, R. (1998) Leaders developing leaders: an effective way to enhance leadership development programs. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, Vol.19 No. 4, pp. 194-198. Elmuti,D., Minnis,W. and Abbey,M. (2005) Does Education have a role in developing leadership skills? Management Decision, Vol.43 No.7/8, pp.1018-1031. Kagan,S.S.(1998) Leadership development: the heart of the matter. International Journal of Educational Management, Vol.12 No.2, pp. 74-81. Lloyd,B. (1994) Leadership and Learning. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, Vol. 15 No.4, pp.19-25 Mullins, J.L Poper, M. (2005) Main principles and practices in leader development. Leadership and Organisation Development Journal, Vol. 26 No.1, pp.62-75. Rowley,J. (1997) Academic leaders: born or made? Industrial and commercial training, Vol.29 No. 3, pp.78-84. Shane, S. (2010) Born Entrepreneurs, Born Leaders: How Your Genes Affect Your Work Life. New York: Oxford University Press.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Leaders Are Born Not Made

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Leaders are born not made? What is a leader? According to Dr. Paul Hersey, leadership is "working with and through others to achieve objectives." Given this definition, anyone in a position whose achievement requires the support of others can play the role of a leader. So in my understanding, a great leader is both born and made. Both parts are essential to a true leader. Some people are born with innate qualities that predispose them to being leaders, and other people while not naturally gifted…

    • 619 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Are Leaders Born or Made?

    • 1564 Words
    • 7 Pages

    People have debated whether leaders are born or made for centuries. However, I am absolutely convinced that good leaders are made than born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. “Good leaders can develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training and experience” (Jago, 1982). To inspire workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things a leader must be, know, and, do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through…

    • 1564 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Leaders Are Born or Made?

    • 299 Words
    • 2 Pages

    For me, both leaders are sort of born and they can also be made, it really depends on how you define leadership. Some people believe that leaders are born with the necessary qualities that make them successful as a leader. While others believe that leadership, like many other similar characteristics, can be learned and developed through life. According to the “Great man theory” leaders are born based on the principle that leaders are exceptional people, born with innate qualities are destined to…

    • 299 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Born and Made Leaders

    • 718 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Are Leaders Born or Made? (Course Name) (School Name) (Name) (Date) (a) ABSTRACT. Leadership sets the tone for team development, and this implies its necessity in an organization. Possessing appropriate leadership skills drive a team in meeting its objectives. The means of acquiring such skills may be through nature or developmental programs. The debate on whether leaders are made or born continues to trigger many thoughts, but none has come conclusively. This paper goes through the skills…

    • 718 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Are Leaders Made or Born

    • 1060 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Are Leaders born or made? The debate of whether leaders are born or made dates back many centuries. In today 's modern society, we are seeing a rapid decline of heredity leadership and a significant rise in role models being business or political leaders. Daniel Goleman argued in Social Intelligence on the topic (chapter 10) and points out that the debate turns out to be pointless, as it assumes that our genes and our environment are independent of each other. For business leaders, it 's a…

    • 1060 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    “leaders are born, not made”. According to Stodgily (1950) leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an organized group in its efforts toward goal setting and goal achievement (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2010). In any organized field there is the necessity to recognize the distinguished figure of a leader, whether it is the animal kingdom or the human modern society. Businesses and firms (but even hospitals, politicians, schools, military, sports…) require a strong figure able to inspire…

    • 298 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Qn. Leaders are born not made. Discuss. Introduction Definition of leadership: Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Simply put leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Studies of leadership have produced theories involving traits, situational interaction, function, behavior, power, vision and value, charisma and intelligence among others…

    • 1522 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Are leaders made or born?

    • 545 Words
    • 2 Pages

    use of influence over other people. A leader is a person who rules, guides or inspires others. There is a clear distinction between someone who possesses the ability to lead and someone who does not. However, what are the origins of leadership? Are some people just naturally born to be leaders? Or is leadership simply a full package with skills that can be learned by anyone, regardless the personality the individual is born with? There have been studies made by scientists on the issue of whether…

    • 545 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    old question. Are leaders made or are they born? My belief on this – I believe that a leader is made, not born. Why do I say that? Before going further, lets be clear on one distinction – when we say a leader is made, it does not mean that someone can be taught to become a leader by attending leadership courses. While it helps, it is not enough. Warren Bennis (a leading leadership researcher) believes that one cannot be taught to become a leader but one can learn to become a leader over the years through…

    • 772 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Leaders Are Born, Not Made

    • 2034 Words
    • 9 Pages

    “Leaders are Born, Not Made” Discuss. Introduction Whether leaders are born and not made is a discussion that has been debated for centuries and yet it still divides opinion today. Like many, on receiving this assignment my instinctive gut response was that they are! However, over the course of my exploration into the subject matter and in greater reflection of my own personal experiences, my contention is now similar to that of the famous and successful American football coach Vince Lombardi who…

    • 2034 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Powerful Essays