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'Leaders are born not made. To what extent is this saying justified by current research evidence?'

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  • Essay length: 2022 words
  • Submitted: 20/06/2006
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University Degree Management Studies

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'Leaders are born not made. To what extent is this saying justified by current research evidence?'

The phenomenon of leadership is one of the most extensively researched management processes, and inevitably effective leadership plays a fundamental role in the success of any organisation. The fact that no single style of leadership has been found to be universally effective, suggests not every leader exhibits the same type of leadership behaviour. It is possible that this is a result of leaders' personal choices, or due to innate genetic factors, giving rise to the view that 'leaders are born not made'. Being a leader and leadership itself are however, two very different concepts. Fielder (1995) defined a leader as a person who is "appointed, elected, or informally chosen to direct and co-ordinate the work of others in a group". In contrast, leadership is more of a process, and can be considered to be a combination of personal qualities, behaviours and styles adapted by the leader. It is therefore possible that not all leaders will possess effective leadership skills and attributes.

With reference to the statement leaders are 'born not made', it may be that people are born with certain

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