Leaders don’t simply drop out of the sky, fully fitted with all they will ever need. For sure some of them seem to be born with a clear predisposition to leadership. But there is a journey of shaping and formation and the best leaders will go on learning.
Last week’s post explored some of the questions around the definition of leadership. This week explores another question in the form of one of leadership’s old chestnuts: are leaders born or made? Apparently a Google search for an answer to the question could fetch you millions of results!
If, with Thomas Carlyle, you subscribe to the Great Man theory of leaders, you’re likely going to say that they are born. They land on the planet, equipped with ‘the right stuff’ and lead simply by living.
It’s probably more than an academic question. After all, why bother with leader development programmes if leaders come pre-programmed to lead? Is there any value in leaders participating in such programmes? On the other hand, if leaders are made (at least in part), even those leaders who are born with an impressive array of leadership traits oozing from their pores will be able to benefit…
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