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Leaders - Born or Made?

In your opinion are leaders born or made? Explain your rationale.

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1. In your opinion are leaders born or made? Explain your rationale.

There are many theories of leadership, some assuming that leaders are born, while others assume that leaders are made. Perhaps it is a little of both, where one's personality and dispositions interact with the leadership skills one learns through training and experience. However, others argue that it is mostly that leaders are made (Cohen, 1998, from,%20Not%20Born.htm).

According to Cohen (1998), for example, there are many well-educated and motivated people who lack the knowledge of how to lead others. So they don't assume leadership positions, or if they do, they don't do very well in them. They and others too, assume that these individuals just weren't born to be leaders. That's really a tragedy, because our country and our people need good leaders. Corporations, associations, and athletic teams all need good leaders. Even parents must be good leaders or their families can become dysfunctional. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that our very success as a nation depends upon good leadership.

In fact, Cohen's (1998) research shows conclusively that effectiveness as a leader depends less on some innate trait you are born with, and much more on specific principles that anyone can follow. He reports:

"One of our greatest military leaders was General Hoyt S. Vandenberg. He eventually became the U.S. Air Force's second Chief of Staff. General Robert Danforth who was Commandant of Cadets at West Point when General Vandenberg was a cadet told me an amazing story. "General Vandenberg was not a natural leader. In fact, we almost dismissed him from the Academy for lack of leadership ability at the end of his first year. Instead, we counseled him. He took note and applied himself. He was a very competent leader by the time he graduated. Clearly he continued to develop himself afterwards." "

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Solution Summary

This response explores the debate of whether leaders are born or made. Supplemented with an article on the nature of becoming a leader. References in APA format.