Kanan Jaswal's Blog on Leadership

Friday, April 4, 2008

Are leaders born or moulded?

Oh! It’s an old debate whether leaders are born or they may be made. There is truth in the statement that some are born leaders or at least are dominators from an early age. But then a vast majority of leaders around us are of the variety who got developed to become leaders. It required their inner urge to be a leader and also the environment, guidance, and hard work with which this inner urge found manifestation. In my eyes, leadership is a skill set and is, therefore, eminently learnable (unfortunately, though, not very many of the leaders have learnt it well).

I would add here that even the so-called born leaders have to sharpen their leadership claws and learn new tricks (not in a derogatory sense!) continually to become a leader of some substance.

Finally, I would say that the world is big enough to accommodate leaders of both types – born or moulded. In fact, about seven million true leaders are needed, one for a thousand people, and the supply runs short of the demand by at least a couple of millions. Since we can not leave the gap to be filled up by the accident of birth, all of us who are concerned have to take it upon ourselves to be a worthwhile leader and to develop many more of the same ilk.

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