Are leaders born or are they made? Now this is a question that I’ve often asked myself and have never ever been able to come up with a plausible answer. The fact that I’ve come across various kinds of leaders, viz, the authoritative one, the autocratic one, the people’s one, the pro-change one, the status quo one, the dictatorial one, in my life did not help me arriving at any proper conclusion whether these guys were born this way or did they become like this.
Sangeeth Varghese (author of the soon to be published book – Decide to Lead; Eight Decisions that can make you a leader) seems to believe that leaders are never born, they are almost always made. In his opinion, leaders are ordinary individuals, mere mortals like you and me, who make a conscious decision to take up a situation and decide to lead.
All these individuals are faced with situations which demands the need for one guy to step up to the plate and take up the responsibility of taking control of the day and make himself accountable not just for his actions but also for the subsequent outcomes (which in some cases would outlast his tenure). These are normal people, who are not born with any special physical or mental attributes, are not blessed with extraordinary IQs, are not trained in any special leadership schools, are not necessarily enigmatic personalities.
On the contrary, Sangeeth’s research seems to suggest that leaders are very normal people, who like I mentioned earlier, have had the opportunity in their lives to be faced with situations which demanded that they take a decision to lead people or things.
Sangeeth goes on to take the example of Henry Ford and gives us a brief background i nto his childhood and a few instances from his life which prove that he was not a ‘born leader’.
After reading this article, I am kind of convinced that most of us have what it takes to be a leader, and the only thing that prevents us from actually becoming leaders is the fact that we do not take it upon ourselves to lead in situations which present themselves to us.
Read the entire text of the article in the latest issue of Businessworld by clicking on this link here.