Leaders Are Born and Not Made

Topics: Leadership, Management, Psychology Pages: 1 (298 words) Published: September 8, 2011
“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 and being a role model to follow. In order to accomplish the purpose of the essay, it will be first introduced the Great Man theory about leaders' traits, and its relevant criticism. Secondly, it will be argued the behavior theories of leadership exposed by the University of Michigan and the Ohio State University, followed by the contingency theory of leadership that negates both the trait and behavioral theories. Last, a conclusion will be held about to how far the assertion “leaders are born, not made” is true.

To cite Buchanan and Huczynski (2010) for the first half of twentieth century, researchers assumed that they could identify the personal traits and other attributes of leaders. It would then be possible to select individuals who possessed those markers, and to promote them to leadership positions. This search for the qualities of good leaders was influenced by the Great Man theory. According to Gordon (1999) the Great Man theory suggests that leaders have such personality, social and physical characteristics traits. First introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, trait theory originally proposed that some individuals were born to be leaders. More than 100 early studies on leaders traits showed that leaders differed from non-leaders in their intelligence, initiative, persistence in dealing with problems, self-confidence, alertness to others' needs, understanding the...
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