The issue about leadership has always been a topic in conversation, specifically the concern about leaders being “born or made”. People often talk and argue about this issue, because we have different points of view regarding this. And it is also because the concept of a leader and leadership is important to people. As discussed in the ‘psychology of leadership’ (http://www. leadersdirect.
com), leaders are important to people probably due to the following reasons: we feel the need of someone to look up to when we feel lost or anxious, when things fail or do not go as planned we seek to blame the leaders, we look at leaders like our fathers who look after us, gives us inspiration and makes us feel good, and we seek for their approval. This are some of the reasons why see leaders important in our society, and because of this reasons we always seek the answer to the question: Are leaders born or made? Some leadership theories would argue that leaders are born not made.
The ‘Great Man” theories assumes that the leadership capacity of a person is inherent (Kendra Van Wagner, About. com). These theories view leadership as a heroic and mythic concept and that the born leaders assume the position when needed by the people. Similar to the great man theories the “Trait” theories also assume that leaders possess certain trait or qualities needed to be one. But one problem that theorists see about the trait theories is that it has identified the characteristics that leaders have and the question about this is “how about the people possessing the characteristics but are not leaders?
” (Kendra Van Wagner, About. com). Other theories such as the “Behavioral theories”, on the other hand, suggest that great leaders are made and not born. This type of theories discusses that through education people can learn to be leaders. According to Wagner in Leadership Theories – 8 Major Leadership Theories, (About. com), behavioral leadership theories focus on the actions of great leaders and not on mental qualities of these people. Today the issue of leaders being born or made is not as essential in shaping our views for us to be able to tell who the leaders are and who are not.
It is not important who had leadership abilities since birth and who learned being a leader from experience, what’s important is that these leaders exist and take on the responsibility to step up and lead people. If we come to think of it, a more logical perspective would be, leaders are sort of born and made. One thing that a future leader probably needs to born with is the intelligence (Block, 2006). In order to be fit as a person who will take this responsibility one has to be smart enough.
Leaders are expected to have that special skill and ability to do what they are assigned and to understand the areas where they need to improve in as well as the capacity to think of how he or she will be effective given different situations. People who would become great leaders are also expected to be able to recognize learning as an important factor in shaping one’s leadership abilities. Furthermore, leaders are also made in the sense that they constantly learn things in the process.
Being born with the skill is important but still eighty percent of their leaders’ skills is acquired from learning experience. They improve their craft through using feedbacks from his or her environment, and also through seeking more training where they can acquire additional skills and knowledge on what they do. Some of the leaders we know today possess this kind of abilities and intelligence, such as the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, Osama Bin Laden, as well as the western leaders Tony Blair, Rudy Guiliani and former US president George W. Bush Jr (http://en.
wikipedia. org). All of these people have been able to become leaders not because they were born to be one, but because they used the gift they were born with and improved their leadership skills through learning. People have been debating on this issue for a long time, not too long ago people had their definitions of a leader and have described the nature of leadership. These definitions have helped in shaping our concept of leadership today that people who are born with the intelligence of a future leader should also learn through the process to achieve that leadership title.
Works Cited: Bock, Wally. “Are Leaders Born or Made? ” (2006). June 3, 2009 <http://www. threestarleadership. com/articles/bornormade. htm>. Gerstel, Judy. “The Psychology of Leadership. ” (2001). June 3, 2009 <http://www. leighthompson. com/media/psychology_of_leadership. htm>. McCrimmon, Mitch. “Leadership in the Mind – the Psychology of Leadership”. leadersdirect. com. June 3, 2009. <http://www. leadersdirect. com/mind. html>. Wagner, Kendra Van. “Leadership Theories – 8 Major Leadership Theories. ” June 3, 2009 <http://psychology. about. com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories. htm>.