Is a leader born or made?

Here is a question that is bound to stir up debate. Well which is it?

Even the theorists cannot agree. Some say it can be taught and judging by the  1.8 MILLION hits leadership development gets on Google, many would agree.

My take may appear to be a cop out, you see I believe that leaders are born…and made.

In fact I will go a bit further. I believe almost anyone could be a leader if they chose to and would pay the price of admission.

So what do you think? Born… Made… or both

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Posted in born vs. made, leadership development
6 comments on “Is a leader born or made?
  1. LeaderInTraining says:

    It is my opinion that leaders are made and born.
    Born leaders seem to have the desired skill set naturally in their thought process like a person that can play music by ear without ever having had one lesson. These born leaders are come in various levels such as the informal leader in a group. Born leaders are often start off as recognized by a group of which they are a member as the “alpha” and are bestowed leadership by the other members in the group. From this point, born leaders further develop into future leaders hopefully acquiring the knowledge to become effective.

    Made leaders often come to exist through experiences and often start as a manager but develop into leader. The path to leadership is not always first clear to these individuals but rather develops through circumstances and the desire to succeed. The made leader usually has the ability to be flexible in order to learn the skill set necessary to become an effective leader.

  2. Pixelhead says:

    Certainly some individuals are born with more leadership traits than others. The charisma that enables a natural born leader to become a world leader, I believe is not something that can be learned.

  3. Ron Hurst says:

    Hey Pixelhead

    I could not agree more, some are born with more inherent leadership ability than others. Charisma that elusive something that makes some leaders so magnetic is definitely not something that can be faked or learned. But then this is but one aspect effective leaders can leverage.

    Great comment!


  4. asma says:

    in my opinion leaders are made not born
    because to be a good leader you need more knowledge and different skills so when you do all these things you make your self by yours

  5. asma hamed al-siyabi says:

    Hellllllllllllo every body.
    Leaders are Always Made
    Leadership can be learned by anyone with the basics. But an awful lot of leadership cannot be taught.
    That’s because leadership is an apprentice trade. Leaders learn about 80 percent of their craft on the job.
    They learn from watching other leaders and emulating their behavior. They choose role models and seek out mentors. They ask other leaders about how to handle situations.
    Leaders improve by getting feedback and using it. The best leaders seek feedback from their boss, their peers and their subordinates. Then they modify their behavior so that they get better results.
    Leaders learn by trying things out and then critiquing their performance. The only failure they recognize is the failure to learn from experience.
    In their book, Geeks and Geezers, Warren Bennis and Robert Thomas identify the special power of what they call “crucibles.” These are trials which teach hard lessons that leaders use as the basis of their strength in later crises. Many of these events can be called “failures,” but leaders turn the bad situation to good by learning from it.
    Effective leaders take control of their own development. They seek out training opportunities that will make a difference that will make a difference in their performance.
    Effective leaders look for training programs that will help them develop specific skills that they can use on the job. Then, they when they return to work, they devote specific, deliberate effort to mastering in real life what they learned in the classroom.

  6. Ron Hurst says:


    Warren Bennis is one of my favorite leadership authors. The book you mention Geeks and Geezers is fantastic. You have done a fine job of sharing the core story of the crucible. WE are tested by fire and those that stand the test and learn from it will be far better leaders for the effort. well said.

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