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There are many schools of thoughts on this subject.

The opinions are divided over whether managers are born or made.

Search on the net and you will get plenty of articles, topics, discussions on this topic and each one sounds logical and justified.

As this is a relative question, there is no one single answer to it.

In my personal opinion, it is actually a combination of both.

You have to be born with a potential.

This trait or potential then needs to be nurtured and fine tuned which is the development part.

Mozart was not born a musician. But he had tremendous potential to be one of the greatest, and luckily for him, he had the surroundings to nurture this talent.

Strictly speaking, no one is born a leader, just as no one is born a talented artist.

But you can be born with the underlying traits that make you a potential artist given the right stimulus and environment.

Becoming a manager is a tough job and the toughest part is managing people.

You have your back against the wall and are always bombarded with pressures from three directions - management above you, people below you and from home.

How you manage and handle these pressures and become a successful manager can be learnt.

There are several training programs which talk about skills required to be a manager - communication skills, team building, change management, stress management, people management, etc.

These skills can be learnt.

But can you solve problems just by learning from books or from what is taught to you? No.

You need to have a trait which you are born with which will enhance your training.

You need to have that inborn talent.

By undergoing training, what you are doing is fine tuning that trait.

It is like two kids learning to ride a bicycle. One may learn within a couple of days while the other may take a few weeks.

Two students - one becomes a doctor but the other hates medicine but is excellent in technical stuff.

These are traits and potentials you are born with.

So if one can correctly analyse and zero down on what one's trait or potential is, one will be very successful.

One can be born with a silver spoon in the mouth, yet be a terrible leader and a bad manager.

Someone might be born as a commoner, yet have the traits to lead and manage.

There will be several opinions which can counter what I have written here.

As I said earlier, this is a relative topic and there cannot be one single answer to the question.



Paromita Mukherjee

From India, Bangalore
Dear All,

Discussions about topics as these though immensely thought provoking, the ultimate valid objective or result would be, (because of the very nature of this subject and its exploration), to find oneself at the necessary threshold of transcending the boundaries within which such (this) topics emerge in the first place!!!

Even if leaders are born, they undergo nurturing consciously or inevitably through contact with the environment in which they interact!!! Such nurturing is the "making" of the leader. While some people may be more indisposed to possessing some leadership skills (in-born traits), nurturing is inevitable. We need to recall that Leadership doesn't exist in a vacuum, it is always relative. At this point of time in discussion I wish to limit my views to this stage only unless and until, we have good number of exploratory responses on this topic.

It is the very human nature to ascend, seek and discover higher possibilities, transcend limitations (self-actualization / self-realization), attain to higher states of existence, all of which result in or lead to expanding of one's consciousness. Man always strives to go beyond and transcend his / her initial limitations. Leadership is about gaining control over phenomena responsibly (response-ability) and take the reponsiblity squarely on our own shoulders, to create the state of affairs of our liking but which does not transgress or run-counter to one's own primordial holistic nature. (Since we would not be in a co-operative frequency of the nature holistically and at some point in future the efforts may run counter-productive and break down).

Can a leader be a leader without followers? Ofcource, having a following is not the true aim of any leader for the purpose of merely having followers. Rather it is to create and possess the synergy, create the thrust (synergies) to transcend the original situations or break through the initial barriers and limitations, what ever these limitations might be. So according to me, leaders, even if it be assumed, "are born" have to be made (nurtured), since at least the counterpart of the leader, that is the followers, who are the critical variable of the environment and without which the leaders would not have any role to play; the leader has to communicate or learn to communicate in ways that will connect with and inspire the followers. How can this be an in-born skill or trait since these can only come into play after the so called discovered individual-later-turned-leader is born?

POTENTIAL CAN BE IN-BORN (LATENT) BUT MANIFEST LEADERSHIP IS ONLY ON INTERACTION WITH THE ENVIRONMENT. CAPACITY TO LEARN MAY BE IN-BORN BUT LEARNING AND HAVING LEARNT COMES ONLY LATER. PERHAPS KNOWLEDGE CAN POSSIBLY BE ACQUIRED BY BIRTH BUT APPLICATION IS ALWAYS AFTER HAVING BEEN BORN AND REQUIRES INTERACTION WITH ENVIRONMENT. IN THE CONTEXT OF LEADERSHIP, THE RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE AND THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE APPLICABILITY OF THAT KNOWLEDGE (WISDOM) FOR EFFECTIVE LEADING ARE THE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME LEADERSHIP COIN. All required leadership elements can never be assigned or solely confined to the "in-born" argument. Leaders are thus made (by their own involvement or the circumstances or by conscious learning). "The leaders are made",more so, because we believe that, since man possess the capacity to constantly evolve and break free from the barriers gradually through perseverance aided by discriminating ability, pure intelligence, courage,adventure, sacrifice and being guided by heart, we believe that management and leadership can be learnt and thus can also be likewise taught. However, what are the effective ways of teaching and learning is debatable and is a different, though definitely a related matter.

These are my authentic views. Any comments on the above? Kindly participate, share and critique.

Warm regards to all,

M.Aditya Ganju
From United Arab Emirates, Sharjah
To me, it is the difference between skill and competitive skill or skill and talent. There is a saying that goes something like this "Talent can do effortlessly what is difficult for the normal person and genius can do effortlessly what is difficult for talent." The issue is more of aligning yourself in an area where your strength lies or even knowing where exactly you can excel:-
Thomas Carlyle,” The person who has found his vocation in life is a blessed human being. Let him ask for no other blessedness.”
Benjamin Franklin," There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond and to know one self"
Research by the Gallup corporation suggests that there is no point sending that staff for training in areas where they are unsuitable. So all this made business is selectively true. Idea should be to first detect talent and then give input because there is no use filling petrol in a diesel tank.
From India, New Delhi

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