Human Resources Management
Recent genetics research on leadership by Dr. Richard Avey suggests about 30% of leadership is born (genetic), 30% is made in the formative years (young in life), and about 30% of leadership is “made” throughout one’s life. A quote by Warren Bennis informs this discussion when he said: “more leaders have been made by accident, circumstance, sheer grit, or will than have been made by all the leadership courses put together.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement, and why? If you agree, how would you design a leadership course differently?
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I agree that most leaders are born with the traits that make them good leaders. Someones personality is a huge determinate for whether or not they are a leader. People who are generally more assertive, extroverted, take-charge, or bossy will naturally gravitate toward leadership positions. These traits are things people are born with and develop as they get older. However, I do think that a person with the drive to become a leader can do so even if their personality traits are not those of a natural leader. Just like a skill such as public speaking, a person can overcome their fears and improve their skills in the area of leadership if they desire to do so. While it may not be a natural ability, leadership is certainly a skill that can be sharpened.
Any good leadership program can be designed for those with or without natural leadership abilities. I think it would be important to design a beginning that could be easily understood by anyone, and would give the basic building blocks and confidence it takes to be a good leader. A course that approaches leadership skills based on personality would be helpful also. Someone who is more introverted could learn through the course how to use the strengths that come from being introverted (i.e. good listening skills, empathetic, observant, etc.) to their advantage. Someone who is more extroverted could learn through the course how to use the strengths that come from being extroverted (i.e. assertiveness, quick decision-making skills, communication skills, etc.) to their advantage.