:: Are Leaders Made or Born? ::
There is a perennial question that goes like this "is a leader the same as a manager?"
I think this statement has some relation to the posed question of whether a leader is made or is born. I subscribe to the idea that when we are born, we possess some innate qualities that would make us a better leader, or a better follower. Like the oriental Yin and Yan, a good leader is one that requires followers to believe in him, and a good follower is one that is able to take instructions from the leader. Hence, a good leader must know how to be a follower, and through this process learn to be a leader that is able to leader with inspiration and respect.
Then can leaders be made? I feel that leadership, unlike management, is more of an innate skill. While a leader can be made, it is definitely easier to train a person to be a manager. Management skills or an MBA will imbue a determined executive into a smart manager, but leadership requires more than this. A true leader is usually made in times of crisis, and many times leaders are created out of ordinary human beings that are thrusted into the limelight due to a certain crisis or event, and they muster the right courage and vision to rally an organisation towards excellence.
Hence, are leaders born or made? I think leaders are first and foremost born, with the right set of personalities, and given the right circumstances, they can rise to the occasion and lead. Notwithstanding, leaders can also be made, first as a manager, and then, through determination, develop the right leadership capabilities.