The question whether leaders are born or made is rational. Tucker for a good classroom or a dinner party debate.
So the answer of course we are talking about real life here, is not so simple. But in fact, some leadership traits are inborn, while on the other hand, some key leadership traits can be developed with training and experience (a must!).
Before we answer the question, let us enumerate the traits of being a leader. Integrity is a requirement, while intelligence is a ticket in today’s challenges and emotional maturity. These three characteristics are standard, meaning they should be “givens”.
The first essential trait of leadership is he must possess a positive energy, the capacity to endure with a healthy vigor and an optimistic approach through good times and bad.
Second would be the ability to energize others, releasing their positive energy, to reach new altitudes as a team.
Next trait would be the edge, or the ability to make tough calls, to say yes or no, not maybe.
Fourth trait is the ability to execute. To get things done.
Finally, leaders have passion. They care, deeply; they work, hard; they believe, wholeheartedly.
Positive energy and ability to energize others are hardwired. Basically, personalities. The same as passion. All of them are inborn. Some people naturally loaded with intensity and curiosity, for they naturally love people, life, and work. It is in them. It is them.
Edge and the ability to execute are different. They can be learned. Trench warfare is the best teacher for these two traits, for they are largely a function of self-confidence. You can say yes or no a lot better when you have done it a number of times and seen how well decisiveness works. Likewise, only the real-world challenges can leaders truly feel the power of moving quickly, demanding accountability, and rewarding results. They can say from their experience how damaging it is not to execute – a mistake effective leaders don’t make twice.
So, are leaders born or made? The answer is both.
Always remember, that not everyone was meant to be a leader. But as long as you are one yourself, it is your job to find and build those who can be.