Remember Vince Lombardi once said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any worthwhile goal.”
Well, he certainly was talking about working hard towards success. Tracing down through the history of the world, we have seen great leaders who made themselves “leaders” by their hard work, dedication, intelligence, and skills to influence. Count in Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah; they have all been leaders who were not born with the leadership qualities but were molded into leaders as they grew struggling and fighting.
But the debate is endless! While there are all these historical conclusions speaking for the motion, there are these other sets of people who believe some leaders are born and not made. It’s just like the situation where someone puts you to test, “Who came first, the chicken or the egg?” The debate rings the bell.
Let’s consider both the cases and conclude the debate for once and for all.
Leaders are born not made
First, it is undoubtedly arguable to connect leadership skills and birth. While every one of us has an understanding that certain people inherit certain leadership qualities from their fathers and ancestors, it is not justified to say that leaders are born and not made.
Does it mean, the degrees and diplomas people pursue and hold to attain leadership skills and become management experts are a waste of money and time?
Trait theories, the ones that most of the great men believe says that people inherit leadership skills and traits from the family. These traits and inherited skills make them best suited for becoming the leaders of the future. If this makes sense, saying that leaders don’t do any work but sit and blabber, “I was born this way,” will be stupid. Won’t it?
Born leaders are different from leaders who are made. And the existence of such leaders will undoubtedly make the existence of people pursuing leadership skills as their prime education will be a waste.
Leaders are made not born
How many of you are in support of the notion that leaders are made with constant efforts, hard work, and skills that they learn along the journey of struggles? You do, don’t you?
Behavioral theories claim that people do not inherit leadership skills but are educated towards enhancing their leadership skills through proper training, practice, and learning. It is their struggles that teach them the importance of taking a stand for situations or hurdles. The military, for example, is the best example where the doctrine of learning skills eventually and shaping a leader can be traced.
But can someone purely become a leader while the heart inside says, no, I want to be lazy?
Characteristics of a good self-made leader:
While we have concluded what makes a leader if not born, let’s see what characteristics make a good leader too.
Honesty is the best policy. It is a lifetime attitude that can make or break the leadership skills in a leader. An honest leader will always help inculcate a healthy attitude between his team members and also will be able to grow more, scrupulously and fairly.
Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity distinguishes a leader from a follower.” Hence, a good self- made leader will be creative and innovative at the very same time.
Creative thinking and constant innovation are exactly what separates the leader from the followers.
A confident leader will be buoyant enough in the crowd that looks up to him/ her for advice. A leader cannot be unsure or uncertain about his decisions. This doesn’t mean that a leader needs to be overconfident but assertive. A really good self- made leader will be stable with his/ her decisions.
- Ability to inspire
An ability to inspire others is the most difficult characteristic for a leader to possess. This is because it involves being persuasive. If the actions of a leader can inspire others who follow him/ her to dream more and achieve more, than the leader is a real self- made an effective leader.
- Negotiation skills
As a leader, it is very important to hone proper negotiation skills. In the duration of practicing leadership skills; there comes a lot of situations in the lifetime of a leader where negotiation is required to reach an agreeable solution. In such situations a good self- made leader is required to maintain his calm, e self-assured and poses well- rounded interpersonal skills to breath out proper negotiations.
“Leaders are made with practice, and experience not born with the skills or inherited leadership from the womb.”
Leadership, as exclaimed by John F Kennedy, is dependent on the learning. John F Kennedy said, “Leadership comes to those who have the traits in them to become a leader and can be refined, polished further with proper learnings, education, and practice.”
Hence, leaders are made, not born, and excel when they are groomed well.