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Are Leaders Born or Made

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The definition of leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Put in even simpler terms, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction (Ward).

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Which brings us to the most basic and most often-asked question in all leadership development, are great leaders born or made? Some people believe that leaders are born with the set of skills to become a successful leader.

While others believe that leadership can be learned and developed through life. With that being said I am sure we have all been told once or more in our lives that leaders are born, not made; that leadership is about ego, and nice guys finish last (Kjerulf, 2009). Well think again my friends, leaders are not born, they are made. What makes someone a good leader is the aspect of discovery. It is the set phrase of a person at their finest whose endeavor is to change something for the better and to expand this forthcoming in others.

Many individuals often get caught up in believing that leadership is based on a title or position but in reality this is far from the truth. Leadership qualities are derived by any individual who is enabled and encouraged to express themselves while working with purpose and meaning. Leadership is a process in which leaders and followers engage to achieve mutual goals. We are all leaders and followers at different times. “Followership” is not a passive role but a dynamic one: Followers ensure that the leader follows the purpose (Owen, 2002).

Leadership entails the following components; passion, values, vision, knowledge, drive, and creativity. All components that develop from happiness and delightfulness in terms of something an individual enjoys, if a person is happy, you are going to seek a means to find the greatest good for the greatest number of people, making it possible for the individual to find a way to lead others to their happiness. Every individual has their own area of talent and inclination for success.

These attributes, the things that individuals are passionate about, are the reasons why every one person can be a leader in their own means of enjoyment. Take for example a very quite and extroverted individual who has grown up throughout his/her entire life being an individual rather than a leader. He/she stumbles upon something they are madly passionate about, volunteering at animal shelters. In order for these thousands of animals to be saved and not euthanized, these volunteers have to find each and every animal a home within a certain amount of days.

Being the extroverted individual he/she is, they reluctantly take a step back, but realize that without their strong passion and desire to lead his/her fellow volunteers; these animals will be put to sleep in a matter of no time. The simple meaning behind this example is that it is not about knowing every piece of advice on how to become a successful leader, or having the proper training, or being born with a set of skills to be able to lead; but rather it is simply about having the passion and strength to lead individuals in a subject that he/she feels so strongly about in order to benefit the most number of people.

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