Great leaders are indispensable for business growth and goal achievement within any organization. The discussion often lies in distinguishing between born and made leaders. While some individuals may possess innate leadership qualities, most successful leaders have honed their skills over time and continue to strive for improvement.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners whether leaders are born or made and here are their responses.
Leaders are made into the person they are today. They learn through their own experiences, such as specific courses they took in school or the server position they held at the local pizza shop. It requires a lot of training and learning from experiences that you can't be born into. No one can prepare you for a bad customer experience until it happens. No one can teach email etiquette until you're thrown into the trenches at your first corporate job. It takes time, but the payoff is well worth it.
Thanks to Maegan Griffin, Skinpharm!
Entrepreneurs and business owners often identify as natural-born leaders who take on the challenge of leading others. But this is only half true – while there are those qualities that make some people better suited to leadership roles, being a successful leader also involves hard work. Those skills can be learned with time and practice, so even someone who isn’t necessarily born to lead can become a successful leader with the right training and guidance.
Thanks to Mark Buskuhl, Ninebird Properties!
While some individuals seem to be born with certain leadership qualities, the predominant belief, both in my industry and in broader sectors, is that leaders are indeed made. Even if some individuals possess natural traits that steer them towards leadership roles, it's experience, education, environmental exposure, and personal growth that truly mould them into effective leaders. Every industry and cultural context requires unique leadership styles. To conclude, while some might have a predisposition to lead, it's life's experiences, challenges, and continuous learning that chisel out true leaders.
Thanks to Gene Caballero, GreenPal!
#4- Mix of both
The whole “born or made” thing about leaders is like a mix of both, you know? Some folks seem to have a knack for leading like they're just born with that confidence and charm. But also, lots of people become great leaders by learning and practicing. It's like growing a skill. We all have our own strengths, and with some effort and experience, anyone can become a good leader, whether they're a natural talker or not. So, it's kind of like having a bit of both in the mix!
Thanks to Rich Frankel, Bross & Frankel, P.A.!
I know a lot about leadership, and I firmly believe that the essence of leadership is ingrained in individuals from the very beginning. Certain parts of a person's personality really help them become great leaders. Think about being someone in charge of a big group. If you're outgoing and feel comfortable talking to lots of people, that's a big plus. Leaders also need to make decisions quickly and be clear about what they want. Waiting around and being unsure won't work; you need to be decisive and delegate without hesitation.
Thanks to Emily Goldsmith, uBloomd!
#6- Mix of both
We each have varying degrees of capability and inclination in each and within each of the 5 forms of Leadership Intelligence. This in part determines our default leadership style and our ability to successfully lead others. Leaders with great technical and organizational capability but lacking in communication and interpersonal skills will struggle to inspire engage and influence others to achieve outcomes.
Thanks to Greg Bull, iV-Leadership.com!
As a business owner and personal development and leadership coach of 16 years, my response would be that leaders are made. I spent 12 years working in and managing a youth leadership coaching program and have witnessed first-hand the evolution of a large number of young people to become great leaders, both personally and professionally. I have witnessed many women in a career women's leadership development program I work in, grow to become outstanding leaders.
Thanks to Fiona Brown, YOUtopia WELLbeing!
#8- Mix of both
Have you ever noticed how children lead their parents through their energy? It is an inborn skill that, no matter how accomplished we are as leaders, takes time to recover from. Dictators, saints, and kids are all natural leaders. Like parents, we have to learn how to set healthy boundaries to prevent us from being led by immature or toxic leaders. All leaders, whether born or made, must adopt a growth mindset, so that they can apply the best technique to help their organizations or even their families thrive.
Thanks to Kim Vermaak, Write Learn and Earn!
In my journey leading a growing company, I've come to believe that leadership is a blend of innate qualities and cultivated skills. While certain individuals may possess a natural predisposition towards leadership traits such as charisma or decisiveness, it's through experiences, challenges, and continuous learning that these qualities are honed and developed. Leadership is as much about growth and adaptability as it is about inherent strengths. Therefore, while some may be born with leadership tendencies, true leadership is often made and molded over time.
Thanks to Abhi Godara, Venturz!
Leaders are born that way. I truly believe that leadership is a personality trait and therefore an intrinsic part of how you were created. Many are late-blooming leaders so it takes a specific set of circumstances in their lives for them to find within themselves the courage and wisdom to take the helm and guide others, They may have been born this way but just hadn't yet had the opportunity to prove themselves as a leader.
Thanks to Jonathan Ayala, Hudson Condos!
#11- Mix of both
Leadership is a complex tapestry of innate abilities and cultivated skills. Reflecting upon my journey from the lecture halls of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to helming ShipSage, I firmly believe that while some individuals might possess inherent qualities of leadership, the crucible of experience, challenges, and deliberate self-growth shapes authentic leaders. Leadership, in my perspective, is both a birthright and a craft, an intersection of what one is born with and what one makes of life's myriad experiences.
Thanks to Ben Pu, ShipSage!
I believe that leadership is a skill that is learned through practice. While some people may be born with natural leadership qualities, it takes hard work and dedication to develop into a truly effective leader. True leaders know it's about motivating and inspiring others, building relationships, and creating a positive work environment. I believe that anyone can be a leader if they're willing to put in the work.
Thanks to Loren Howard, Prime Plus Mortgages!
Leadership, in its essence, is a dynamic process that demands continuous learning and adaptation. Throughout my career, I have witnessed individuals who initially might not have appeared as natural-born leaders, but through perseverance, dedication, and a commitment to personal growth, they transformed into exceptional leaders. This evolution is driven by a willingness to learn from failures, seek mentorship, and engage in self-reflection.
Thanks to Jon Morgan, Venture Smarter!
Leaders aren’t born, they’re forged on the crucible of life. As they journey through life, leaders accrue the wisdom and experience that they need to step forward and assume the role that they’ve been fashioned to fit. It’s the age-old question of nature versus nurture and I’ve always been a firm believer that the latter is far more important than the former, and ultimately responsible for making us all who we are, and eventually become.
Thanks to David Brewer, Protect Line!
There is no such thing as a born leader. People can have strong leadership traits or tendencies; however, a good leader is shaped through experience, failure, struggle, and perseverance. Leadership is a constant journey; I’ve been in the infrastructure and natural resources game for 30+ years now and am still learning how to be the best leader for my team. I also think leaders need to be malleable and open to change, different leadership styles and techniques are required to meet the needs of each employee – it isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
Thanks to Donna Groves, Comacon!
People can be born with natural leadership qualities, or they can not have natural leadership qualities, but that isn't what determines a good leader. Leadership is a skill that needs to be developed and nurtured by anyone who is in a leadership role, including entrepreneurs and small business owners. Often we get thrown into the leadership role without realizing that is what we are doing – leading others around us. When we use our leadership skills in conjunction with our personality and natural characteristics, this is where the magic can happen and great leaders (and business owners/entrepreneurs) are born.
Thanks to Melissa Ahlquist, Little Biz!
Leaders grow by learning from their mistakes, taking on challenges, and understanding others well. Some people are born with leadership skills, but hard work, constant learning, and connecting with different cultures make them great leaders in today's fast-paced business world. So whether you're traveling the world or running your own business, remember that being a leader is a journey of discovery. It comes from experience, hard work, and an open-mindedness about the world.
Thanks to James Smith, Travel-Lingual!
While certain qualities can provide a starting point, the bulk of effective leadership is a learned skill. Through education, mentorship, and hands-on experience, leaders can refine their natural tendencies and develop strong leadership capabilities. This perspective highlights that while some may possess natural traits, the journey of becoming a successful leader is greatly influenced by dedication to learning, growth, and continuous improvement.
Thanks to Jack Carrere, Prokeep!
Some folks seem to have that natural leadership authority, but most of the time, it's more about learning the ropes. People can definitely pick up the skills through education, getting advice from mentors, and just diving into real-world experiences. A few built-in traits might help, but becoming a top-notch leader is all about being open to learning, growing, and always looking to get better.
Thanks to Stephanie Venn-Watson, Seraphina Therapeutics!
Leaders can be born with particular personalities that may help them develop successful skill sets. However, leaders are made through the challenges that they face, and their persistence in finding solutions. Every failure or strategy that ends in an unexpected outcome can lead to exponential growth, while positive experiences can serve as a reminder that they are on the right track. This is why leaders who are open to consistent opportunities are more likely to be rewarded.
Thanks to Mike Wallace, Greenback Expat Tax Services!
Leaders are both born and made. This is a debated topic of nature vs. nurture, where some argue that leaders are born with a genetic component that differentiates them from others. Although self-motivation, honesty, and empathy are significant qualities we are born with, handwork, dedication, and persistence can be earned. If you want to get ahead and make an impact, there are no shortcuts, and you must work hard.
Thanks to Megan Murphy, Loumi Skincare!