Leaders Are Made Or Born? It Is A Look At How Leadership Qualities Come To Be If They Are Acquired In Life Through Learned Behavior Or If They Are Born Into A Person's Personality

2507 words - 10 pages

Not born a leader, What makes a person a leader?How do we acquire such traits?Leadership is the ability of one person to control and exert influence over many. There is a clear distinction between someone who possesses the ability to lead and someone who does not. Throughout human history able leaders have aroused millions of people and brought them under their control yet, the origins of this gift are still debatable. Beginning over a century ago, scientist and philosophers pondered what it takes to become a great leader. A leader's character and the influence that present and past theories play in the leader's life and the lives of their followers is central to the idea of the leader's character. If people are not born leaders, what is it about their character that makes them a leader.Since the last century, numerous studies have been conducted on the issue of leadership and whether it is a genetic, hereditary or learned behavior. One of the first studies of character, relating to inheritance, was conducted by Sir Francis Galton in 1869. The study of hereditary improvement of the human race through selective breeding, known as Eugenics, was established by Sir Galton. Eugenics is a debatable topic and considered a false science by many. The fact that eugenics was conceived in the 1860s iterates man's desire to understand genetics and how genetics play into the person that we are. The Theory of Eugenics was, "used to blame social ills on the perceived genetic traits of entire groups of people. Under Adolph Hitler, it was used to justify the murder of millions" (Sorensen, 1999). The use of Eugenics was clearly used in the wrong direction but some truth may be hidden behind the theory that certain leadership skills and other personality traits are inheritable. The study of twins has shown that there are some personality traits that we do inherit. At the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario a study was conducted on 195 monozygotic twins showing evidence of inheritable attitudes. The study displayed a correlation between a highly heritable attitude being more pronounced in the psyche than a less heritable attitude (James, 2001). However, there is not enough evidence to prove that genes are the sole decider of traits and other behavioral characteristics. The influences that shape our personalities are also a result of the environment that surround us, including what is learned through observation (Sorenson, 1999).When we observe the world around us, we see leadership in every walk of life but in order to conceptualize the presented theories of leadership, they will be placed in a business setting. The business world is a perfect place to look for qualities and characteristics of leadership because it is a competitive and measurable environment. The qualities and traits of leadership are many and seen in the eyes of the follower or beholder. There is a necessity that is created between a leader and the followers, because...

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