Leaders – Born, Made or Neither?

Every one of us started out wet, scared, hungry and in need of immediate care. No baby comes into this world directing traffic and networking in the nursery.

It seems logical that the type of care given, the parental guidance bestowed or withheld, the environmental, cultural and personal experiences, both good and bad, all make up the traits each of us possess.
The question – “are leaders born or are they made?” is a vast and somewhat subjective topic. Is how we turn out more a function of nurture or nature, more about development and experience or heredity and heritage?
The field of leadership study is split and the arguments for both sides are compelling. No one can say for certain whether leaders are born or developed. Most say it is a combination of both.
So, my network marketing lady friend from FB in search of leaders is going to have to really do some digging. If she can’t find natural born leaders then she’s going to have to train them. Can that be accomplished?
Whether or not you believe that someone can be trained to lead depends on how you define leadership. 
Definition 1:  If leadership is the combination of soft skills, behaviors, and traits that allow individuals to influence others, then the answer to the question: “Can you train leaders?” is most likely: NO. 
Definition 2:  If leadership is the combination of tangible knowledge and situational adaptability, then the answer to the question might be: yes, people can be trained to lead.
Despite the claims of many leadership trainers, you can’t turn just anyone into a great leader any more than you can turn anyone into a great pianist, a great cook, or a great author. Great leaders develop the same way that great performers in other fields develop.
To be great in any field, you need two things. You need some aptitude or talent. You need a combination of training and developmental experience to improve your ability to perform.
So, while she is looking for the natural leader, she might size up a couple of people with some potential to begin the leadership training process.
I think I would suggest that she start with developing a potential leaders WHY, because without a strong WHY there can be no motivation, no leadership.
Let’s revisit WHY development in the next blog entry to see Why Knowing Your Why is Essential in any business. Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Tell a friend Tags: born leader, leader, leaders, leadership, natural born leader

Rick Lelchuk

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