Discussion Topic

The debate on whether leaders are born or made

Summary:

The debate on whether leaders are born or made centers on two perspectives: one argues that leadership qualities are innate and individuals are born with them, while the other contends that leadership skills can be developed through experience, education, and training. Both views acknowledge that leadership involves a combination of inherent traits and learned skills.

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Are Leaders born or made?Please state two reasons and perhaps if possible,a counter argument.Thanks!

Some people can be turned into leaders.  I have seen people really change when they were given some direction.  However, some people seem to be natural leaders.  I think that the people who appear to be natural leaders are given opportunities to lead and learn to lead early in life, and have natural personality traits that lend themselves to leadership.

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Are Leaders born or made?Please state two reasons and perhaps if possible,a counter argument.Thanks!

Not everyone has the basic raw material to be a leader; some people are too indecisive, too dishonest, or simply lack the ambition to lead. Of those who do have the requisite inborn leadership qualities, some will become leaders because the opportunity arises where they can, or sometimes even must, lead. Others may have the qualities but never get the chance to lead.

On the counter argument side, I think that most people would agree that a person who is a hero is, by definition, a leader of sorts. There are many people who become heroes because they find themselves in circumstances where they act without thinking; in many cases these people are folks who would never have become a leader in any other way.

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Are Leaders born or made?Please state two reasons and perhaps if possible,a counter argument.Thanks!

My answer is "yes."  Leaders are both born and made.

There is no doubt that some people are born with more charisma and more of the stuff that leaders are made of.  However, leaders are also formed by their circumstances.  There are surely any number of people who are born with charisma but who are never put in a position to demonstrate that and turn it to leadership.  In this way, leaders are made by their circumstances.

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Are Leaders born or made?Please state two reasons and perhaps if possible,a counter argument.Thanks!

Leaders are made, not born, with the sole exceptions, to the best of my knowledge, being leaders of various religions in which the faithful subscribe to the idea that the leader was predetermined somehow, such as the Delai Lama, who is believed to be "born" by adherents of Tibetan Buddhism. Research strongly suggests that we are born with a tendency in some personality attributes, for example, shyness or risk-taking.  We might also be born with various tendencies to "intelligences," such as musicality or logic.  However, these are all tendencies, genetic combinations that may or may not be switched on by our environment, a process we call epigenetic.  Even a person who is born with a good combination of leadership traits may or may not be subjected to an environment in which those traits are encouraged or called upon in some way.  Additionally, what makes a good leader is often a question of context, with various times and places needing different kinds of leaders, sometimes a risk-taker, sometimes a steady hand at the helm.  This implies that a born leader somehow magically finds his or her proper context, which is wildly unlikely to be the case in most instances.  So, all in all, leaders are made, born with a collection of traits that may or may not be forged by the world around them, that may or may not called upon in the context in which they could be of use as leaders.  A leader who is born is one whom people believe was born, logically implying that this is a question of faith, not a question of evidence supporting the belief. 

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Are leaders born or made?

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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Leaders are born, but they can also be made?Do you agree or disagree? This for a class in human behavior organization.

I would argue that leaders are made by the situations and opportunities that shape them, usually from a young age. A leader needs to develop charisma, creativity and good people skills. Both social and traditional intelligence are key. But there are many different types of leaders.
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Leaders are born, but they can also be made?Do you agree or disagree? This for a class in human behavior organization.

Leadership qualities are inherent in some individuals, in others it can be taught, and in some these qualities will never show unless they are forced into a position where they have to step forward and lead. And there is a smaller minority that would fail even then.

The U.S. Military is a prime example of teaching people to be leaders. For decades they would take prospects who might be leaders and run them through various training courses to develop the skills needed. And that's just for peacetime. During a war often the leader steps forward from out of nowhere. He or she may well have been someone who was looked up to in the unit but who did not have a leadership position, but when those above them are removed from the scene of the battle, they step forward and take the duties and responsibilities and move the unit forward.

In fact, modern business with its emphasis on manager training is also trying to teach someone who may or may not be a leader the skills to become one in hopes that one will step ahead and out of the pack and prove himself once he has learned these skills.

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Leaders are born, but they can also be made?Do you agree or disagree? This for a class in human behavior organization.

Another way in which leaders can be made would be through the presence of conditions that call out for leadership qualities.  In history, the emergence of leaders has been due to specific conditions that have necessitated leadership in multiple forms.  Independence movements in different nations have created the setting for leaders to emerge.  In America, the injustices of the British called out for a man like Sam Adams and other Patriots to assume the role of leadership.  In the Post Revolution Constitutional Convention, the discord and dissonance which was present demanded people like Governeur Morris and Roger Sherman to emerge as individuals who could achieve compromise.  Another opportunity present for leadership could be during the Civil Rights Movement, when the injustice of racism in American social and political setting called out for a thinker like Dr. King to assume the mantle of leadership.  I think we can examine particular conditions in any nation's history and speak to how these help to create the moment where leadership (both in good and not so good forms) are present.  Historical and social conditions provide the soil and nutrients for the plant of leadership to grow and mature.

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Explain the idea that "leaders are born not made."

This phrase means that a person is either born with leadership skills or without them. Those that support this theory are of the opinion that you cannot teach a person to be a leader.

Before we go any further, we have to define who a leader is. It is a person that influences other people. He or she can convince a group of people to work towards a common goal. The debate whether a leader is born or made has been going on for a while, and various scientists have tried to come up with a concrete answer through experimentation.

One experiment has come close to proving this statement right. A group of scientists began an experiment in the 60s. At the time, the participants were sixteen years old. These individuals took a personality test and answered a series of questions. In 2010, the researchers gave the same participants a questionnaire with similar questions. Then, the researchers compared the responses from both periods. Interestingly, those that believed they were leaders at a young age didn’t change their response. They were still confident in their abilities after 50 years. Despite what they had gone through, they had the same opinion about themselves.

This experiment proves that leaders are born with unique qualities. These individuals always find a way to get people on their side regardless of the situation.

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Explain the idea that "leaders are born not made."

Many psychological, neurological, and sociological tests have been conducted by scientists to discover if leadership truly can be a learned trait, and studies generally indicate that leaders truly are born with different personality traits and different thinking skills that make them leaders rather than followers.

Geneticists at the University College London experimented on 4,000 individuals to find that those who are supervisors all have the rs4950 gene. Also, psychologists and neuroscientists at the Wake Forest University, North Carolina, discovered that those in leadership positions have more brain activity in their frontal and prefrontal lobes. The frontal lobe is responsible for cognitive skills, such as expressing emotions, solving problems, the ability to judge, and the ability to retain memory and use language skills. The prefrontal lobe is involved in even more complex cognitive skills, such as making decisions, regulating social behavior, and expressing personality. All of the above skills are critical for leadership roles.

In addition, a joint sociology and animal behavior study on stickleback fish at the University of Cambridge showed that the leadership role cannot be learned. Stickleback fish are group animals, and within the group, different fish show different levels of boldness; the bolder fish initiate an activity, such as coming out of hiding to forage, while the shyer fish follow. The scientists took pairs of shy and bold fish and used food rewards to try and change the behavior of both the leader and the follower. What they found is that, while the leader could be trained to learn to follow, the follower could never be trained to be bold enough to lead.

Hence, though some scientists still question if leadership skills can truly be learned, other scientists conclude that while some leadership skills can be learned, there will always be certain people for whom those skills come more easily, just like math skills come easily to certain individuals while language skills come more easily to others. All people, within limits, can be taught to learn more math and language skills, but those who are weak in math or language will always struggle more with the subject. The same holds true for leaders. We can learn leadership skills, but it's not the skills alone that make us actual leaders.

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Explain the idea that "leaders are born not made."

"Leaders are born not made" simply implies that one cannot be taught to be a leader; either one is born with the skills to be a leader or not.

The assumption here is that leadership is inherently a matter of traits that cannot be transferred or taught and are innate. The assumption also incorporates the idea that leadership is not based on a set of rules and skills that can be imparted to another person. Leadership is a sum total of personal characteristics that a person has or develops without any aid over time and it is this skill set that enables the leader to lead people. This is akin to people having high IQ or innate skills in certain areas (athletics, etc.).

This statement rules out leadership as a learnt quality or skill. 

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Explain the idea that "leaders are born not made."

This statement implies that leadership is a matter of personality; that it is an art rather than a science.  It says that a person must be born with innate characteristics that allow them to lead.

The idea behind this statement is that leadership is not a matter of technique or learned skills.  Instead, it is a matter of having some personal characteristics that make other people want to follow where you lead.  This implies that there is no way to take a person who does not have these innate characteristics and teach them to be an effective leader.

This statement, then, argues that the major aspect of leadership is personality.

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