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Leaders are Made, not Born

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 This paper seeks to defend the proposition that leaders are made not born[1] first by defining and understanding the concept of leadership, including an analysis the factors or elements for its existence as well as the theories that would explain their origin, the leadership models that would explain the behavior of the leader and the attributes of the leader which may not just come naturally but product of discipline and decision on the part of the person making the choice as a leader.

Defining what is leadership may things clearer at the start.

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   Leadership may be viewed as a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective[2] and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. The person influencing is called the leader who carry out this process by applying his or her leadership attributes, such as character, knowledge, skills, beliefs, values and ethics.[3] It may be argued that a manager or a supervisor may give one the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization, but said manager or supervisor is not necessarily a leader.

Being a boss is not leadership for the later makes the followers want to achieve high goals, rather than just giving orders to be complied with.

A good way to prove that a leader is made and not born is to look at the present leadership theories.   Bass’ theory of leadership[4] enumerated the three basic ways to explain how people become leaders to include Trait theory, Great events theory and Transformational Leadership Theory. He explained the Trait theory as one where some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. Although it sounds that a leader may have genetically got his or her natural disposition to lead the same it’s not enough as conditions and circumstances of leadership situations could not be like argued to a matter determined by birth.

Thus Bass[5] rightfully stated his second theory called, Great Events Theory, where he argued for the need for a crisis or important event to possibly cause a person to rise to the occasion, and thereby produce the extraordinary from the ordinary in term of leadership qualities  Given that events is not a function of choice but a function of environment, it becomes logical to invoke this third theory called, Transformational Leadership Theory, where people can now make a choice to become leaders. Choosing therefore to become a leader requires the learning and acquisition of leadership skills.There is good ground to assert that leaders are made and not born.  It is easier to believe that good leaders are made not born.

If one has the desire and willpower, one can become an effective leader. It can be proven that a good leader develops through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience, hence becoming a leader is a process and not given as a birthright.It is not easy to inspire one’s workers into higher levels of teamwork, unless one must know what to do. It could be argued either the person who inspires need to born first.

To argue that the leader must be born is to say that the characteristic of that leader is something genetic and therefore he or she need not learn the art of leadership.  A leader therefore does not come naturally, but he or she needs to acquire through recurrent work and study what he or she needs to sway people. Since conditions change a good leaders must repeatedly work and study to get better his/her leadership skills and resisting on his or her laurels is simply not an option.Before a leader becomes an issue, there must be factors creating leadership.

Since it is earlier defined that leadership is a process, there are elements or factors to check the existence of leadership that will produce the leader. Hence the four major factors in leadership which includes the follower, the leader, the communication and the situation. Psychology supports the theory that there are personality differences for various individuals and hence there are as varies followers as there are personalities. These difference personalities of different people would require different styles of leadership.

This could be illustrated by the fact that a newly hired employee would required more supervision than an experienced employee, thus leadership must fill in the situation.  In another example,   a person may lacks motivation which would also need a different approach than one with a high degree of motivation. Thus knowing one’s people is the secret of a good leader and this requires a good knowledge of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. If there are not followed there is no need for leaders.

Since followers have the need to be led, leaders need to have knowledge about their followers this will cause the leaders to be made not to be born.There is a requirement for a leader.  A leader is the main character of this paper hence he or she must also be present. He or she may come from those who felt the need that seeks the opportunity better than a mere follower.

He or she therefore rises to the occasion. They are therefore required to have a honest understanding of who they are, what they know, and what they can do. It must be made clear that follower is first mentioned ahead of the leader since, this paper believes that it is the followers, not the leader who will have a say if a leader is successful. The followers lack of trust or lack confidence in their leader will cause their leader to be uninspired, thus the requirement of success is for the leaders to convince their followers, that they are worthy of being followed.

What links the followers and the leader is the two-way communication, which is predominantly conducted in a nonverbal manner such that event setting the example to the follower is already communicating to his or her people since it is presupposed that the leader would not ask his or her followers to perform anything that the said leader would not be willing to do. The critical issues in communication include what information will each party will have to tell and what to withhold including the manner of communication since these issues could either make or unmake he relationships between the parties.To complete the factors, situation must be there.   Situation means the occasion or event causing the need hence most often each situation is different.

What the leader does in one situation will not always work in another. He or she must use his or her judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. This may involve the need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but the same must be done with wisdom and correct timing.Since leaders are made, then everybody can become a leader and there are models of leadership to explain them.

 These leadership models explain what makes leaders act the way they do. It must be made clear that every situation calls for a different approach or behavior to be taken.  Bolman and Deal[6] used the Four Framework Approach, to explain that  leaders display leadership behaviors in one of four types of frameworks which they named as either structural, human resource, political, or symbolic. They explained that the style can either be effective or ineffective, with due consideration on the chosen behavior in certain situations.

Under the structural framework, where there is an effective leadership situation, Bolman and Deal[7] posited that the leader is a social architect whose leadership style is analysis and design, while in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a petty tyrant whose leadership style is details. Under the human resource framework, where there is an effective leadership situation, Bolman and Deal explained that the leader is a catalyst and servant whose leadership style is support, advocacy, and empowerment. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a easy target, whose leadership style is abdication and fraud. What makes this model unique is its belief in people who can communicate,  are visible and accessible hence empowerment and increase participation is possible.

Under the political framework, where there is an effective leadership situation, Bolman and Deal[8] explained that the leader is an advocate, whose leadership style is coalition and building, while if there is an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a hustler, whose leadership style is exploitation. They explained that there is clarification of what political leaders want and what they can get, hence there is an assessment of the distribution of power and interests and building of linkages to other stakeholders. Under the symbolic framework, where there is an effective leadership situation, Bolman and Deal[9] explained that the leader is a prophet, whose leadership style is imbued with inspiration. While in an ineffective leadership situation, the leader is a fanatic or fool, whose leadership style is smoke and mirrors.

After knowing the different models, the necessary attributes of leader must be existing to show that leaders are really made.   A leader can be trusted, then those around him or her will grow to respect the said leader. Hence the following attributes are necessary. He or she must a professional to be capable of being loyal to the organization, performing selfless service and taking personal accountability.

 He or she must possess good character traits as honesty, competence, candor, obligation, integrity, bravery, frankness, imagination. He or she must know the four factors of leadership, which are the follower, leader, communication, and situation. The leader must have self-knowledge, must know human nature as may be related to human needs, emotions, and how people respond to stress. He or she must know his her job to be proficient enough to be able to train others in their tasks.

He or she must know his or her organization, its climate and culture, and must be able to pinpoint the unofficial leaders. He or she must be able to provide direction as may be found goal setting, problem solving, decision making and planning. He or she must be able to implement decisions and must be able to motivate his or her followers.It may be concluded that leaders are made because of the felt need to address a need as demanded by situations.

Situations are not always intended and if they are not intended, they do create need or opportunities for an organizational action to accomplish the objectives. Organizational objective therefore presupposes leadership[10] hence a leader is made when circumstance of needs is created. Leaders do not get born to find or lead the followers. Leaders may come from the group who felt the need for decision and action which entail finding his or her common grounds with his or her followers.

The proofs that leaders are made can be seen in leadership models that have been used to explained the behavior of the leaders and under the different frameworks. The authors of these model never have spoken that leaders where born to follow the models. Said models are making an assumption of how the leader behaves under different conditions which are created by situations independent of the will of the leader or somebody who has been predetermined  to be the leader that will be borne to handle the situation. Bass[11] clearly explained in the Trait theory where some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles but subject to external conditions or situation,   in the Great Events Theory which necessitate an important event to cause a person to rise to the occasion and the Transformational Leadership Theory, where people can choose to become leaders.

Leadership is the behavior where one must take responsibility[12] for his actions and their consequences. It is command coming from the inside of the person about the need to take charge and hence the decision would require actions to acquire training   and additional knowledge particularly knowing people in order to attain the desired objectives. It is also a challenge to assume responsibility for the guidance of others. It is also the difference between wanting to have success and failures.

 It is value for those who belief that man is the authors of humanity’s destiny.;Works Cited:;;Bass, Bernard (1989). Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. New York: Free PressBass, Bernard (1990).

From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 18, Issue 3, Winter, 1990, 19-31Bolman, L. and Deal, T.

(1991). Reframing Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Clifton, J.

,  A Conversation Analytical Approach to Business Communication: The Case of Leadership; The Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 43, 2006Leadership Development Center, What is Leadership?, 2006 {www document}  URL http://www.virginia.edu/ldc/leadership.

html, Accessed November 24, 2007Magnuson, E. Creating Culture in the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement: An Ethnographic Study of Micro-Level Leadership and Socialization; The Journal of Men’s Studies, Vol. 15, 2007Melohn, Tom, The New Partnership: Profit by Bringing Out the Best in Your People John Wiley and Sons, Published 1996Wee, D. , Knowledge Worker Exchange , Concept of Leadership, 2007 , www document}  URL http://web.

kwx.com.my/kwx/asp/articles02/articles_view00.asp?strID=24, Accessed November 24, 2007[1] Melohn, Tom, The New Partnership: Profit by Bringing Out the Best in Your People John Wiley and Sons, Published 1996[2] Wee, D.

, Knowledge Worker Exchange , Concept of Leadership, 2007, http://web.kwx.com.my/kwx/asp/articles02/articles_view00.

asp?strID=24[3] Leadership Development Center ,August 21, 2006, What is Leadership? {www document}  URL http://www.virginia.edu/ldc/leadership.html, Accessed November 24, 2007[4] Bass, Bernard (1989).

Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. New York: Free Press; Bass, Bernard (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, Vol.

18, Issue 3, Winter, 1990, 19-31[5] Bass, Bernard (1989). Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. New York: Free Press; Bass, Bernard (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision.

Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 18, Issue 3, Winter, 1990, 19-31[6] Bolman, L. and Deal, T. (1991).

Reframing Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.[7] Bolman, L. and Deal, T.

(1991). Reframing Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.[8] Bolman, L.

and Deal, T. (1991). Reframing Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

[9] Bolman, L. and Deal, T. (1991). Reframing Organizations.

San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.[10] Clifton, J.,  A Conversation Analytical Approach to Business Communication: The Case of Leadership; The Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 43, 2006[11] Bass, Bernard (1989).

Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership: A Survey of Theory and Research. New York: Free Press; Bass, Bernard (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, Vol.

18, Issue 3, Winter, 1990, 19-31.[12] Magnuson, E. Creating Culture in the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement: An Ethnographic Study of Micro-Level Leadership and Socialization; The Journal of Men’s Studies, Vol. 15, 2007

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Leaders are Made, not Born. (2017, Mar 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/leaders-are-made-not-born-2/

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