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Are Leaders Born or are They Made?

Are leaders born or are they made? That’s a tough question, and probably as old as time itself.

It’s like wondering what came first, the chicken or the egg. I’d have to say there are some inherent traits that one needs to be a good leader, but many of these skills can be learned. If one has a propensity to read a lot, to be a good observer, to engage ideas with others, willing to have mentors around you, learn to be a good communicator, willing to accept failure and move on, then a great leader can grow from that. Persistence and fortitude are very important. And, you need an aptitude and a natural leaning toward learning.

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Having an aptitude to want to learn and excel, and refining those skills over time through training and practice, helps immensely in becoming an effective leader.

Other elements at play are environmental and cultural. Can one resonate well with one’s community? As a leader can one embrace these cultural expectations. Can one navigate well through constant change? Does one know when to be a transformational leader, a servant leader, an authoritarian leader, a laissez-faire leader? Can one delegate effectively?

There are so many factors at play for leaders to consider. It can be like playing chess sometimes. You need to train on the job, and even when playing the game, there is no guarantee one will win. Strategy, chance, hard work, and being at the right place at the right time can all be key ingredients in making a successful leader.

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