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Are leaders born or made?


Are Leaders Born or Made?

The age-old debate about whether leaders are born or made has been a topic of fascination for generations. Some argue that leadership is an innate trait that certain individuals are born with, while others contend that leadership skills can be developed and honed over time. In this blog post, we’ll explore both perspectives and shed light on the complex nature of leadership.

The Case for “Born” Leaders

Proponents of the “born” leaders theory believe that some individuals possess inherent qualities that make them natural leaders. These qualities often include charisma, confidence, decisiveness, and an innate ability to inspire and motivate others. Here are some key points in favor of this viewpoint:

Personality Traits: Some people seem to be born with personality traits that lend themselves to leadership. These traits can include extroversion, emotional intelligence, and a strong sense of responsibility.

Early Leadership Roles: It’s not uncommon for “born” leaders to exhibit leadership tendencies from an early age. They may take charge in group settings, organize activities, and naturally assume leadership roles.

Intuition: Some argue that “born” leaders possess an intuitive understanding of what it takes to lead effectively, often making decisions that others find difficult.

Natural Charisma: Charisma is often considered a defining trait of a “born” leader. They have an innate ability to captivate and inspire those around them.

The Case for “Made” Leaders

On the flip side, proponents of the “made” leaders theory believe that leadership is a skill that can be cultivated through education, training, and experience. They argue that anyone can become a successful leader with the right guidance and effort. Here are some arguments in support of this perspective:

Learning and Development: Leadership skills can be learned and developed over time. Through formal education, mentorship, and practical experience, individuals can acquire the necessary tools to become effective leaders.

Adaptability: Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Effective leaders often adapt their leadership style to different situations and challenges, which suggests that it is a learned skill.

Continuous Improvement: Leaders who believe they can be “made” are more likely to engage in self-improvement and seek feedback, leading to continuous growth and enhanced leadership abilities.

Examples of Transformation: Many successful leaders have shared their stories of transformation, highlighting how they developed their leadership skills through hard work and dedication.

The Middle Ground: A Balanced Perspective

While the debate between “born” and “made” leaders continues, it’s essential to recognize that the truth likely lies somewhere in between. Leadership is a multifaceted concept influenced by both nature and nurture. Some individuals may have a natural predisposition for leadership, but this alone does not guarantee success. On the other hand, those who are not “born” leaders can certainly cultivate leadership skills and become effective leaders through dedication and perseverance.

In Conclusion

Are leaders born or made? The answer is not as straightforward as choosing one side of the debate over the other. Whether you believe leaders are born or made, one thing is certain: effective leadership requires ongoing self-awareness, learning, and adaptability. So, rather than focusing on whether leaders are born or made, we should concentrate on how we can continuously develop and improve our leadership abilities to make a positive impact in our organizations and communities.


Barry Bradham

A serial entrepreneur, a certificated coach and a dot’com that is eager to share his experience to other business owners.

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