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Are leaders born or made?

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kisstopher603 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted February 24, 2013 at 6:37 PM via web

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Are leaders born or made?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 24, 2013 at 6:52 PM (Answer #1)

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The best answer to this is “yes.”  In other words, leaders are both born and made.  Most good leaders have aspects to their ability that are inborn and other aspects that have been learned.

It is, of course, helpful to be born with the right kind of personality to be a leader.  Some people are naturally more outgoing and have more of a knack with people.   Some people are naturally more charismatic.  These sorts of inborn characteristics help people to become good leaders.

On the other hand, leadership can be something of a science as well.  Leaders who try to simply rely on their personalities and charm to be successful are likely to be less effective than other leaders.  The best leaders need to learn multiple leadership styles rather than trying to simply use the one that they are born with all the time.  The best leaders learn these styles and they learn to identify the situations in which each style is best used. 

Leaders, then, cannot simply rely on their talent.  It is good to be born with at least a bit of talent, but it is just as important to study leadership and to analyze one’s own tendencies in order to become a truly great leader.

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