Is a leader made or born? Why do you think so?

1.9k views33 Upvotes59 Comments

Senior Director, Global IT Support in Hardware, 10,001+ employees
AVP and Deputy CIO in Education, 10,001+ employees
Nature vs nurture. Definitely nurture. Leaders are made but it’s a lifetime effort.
Vice President Information Technology in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
Chief Executive Officer in Services (non-Government), 51 - 200 employees
Born made.
VP of IT in Manufacturing, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Director in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
There are some leaders that are born into it, but don't become great leaders unless they invest time in learning, listening to feedback and being self-aware (made)   There are other leaders that spend a lot of time (made) trying to learn, they say they are listening to feedback all the while believing so much in themselves they can ignore everyone's advice.   The great leaders are a mix of both, and there are terrible leaders that believe they were born or made to lead.   I've seen it all.   It's most important to be self-aware, so you don't believe you are better at leading than you really are.
5 1 Reply
Founder and Chief Sales Energizer in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees

I agree that some are born with a proclivity to lead and do it naturally. That's a good start but it is intention that makes a great leader. I do believe that leaders can be made. That takes desire, encouragement, learning, practice and intention. 

Chair and Professor, Startup CTO in Education, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Half and half.
Information Security Director in Media, 10,001+ employees
I agree that it is half and half, as some embrace their leadership qualities/skills early, but for others it can depend on their environment (influences/parents/colleagues/managers etc.), as it can empower someone to become a leader by how they motivate, inspire and challenge them based on certain competencies displayed.  But it is also up to the individual to want to learn/develop those skills as they look to impact people or a business differently (individual contributor vs. leader)
CIO in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees
There are definitely people who are born leaders, without a doubt, BUT people can also be made into leaders through mentorship, training, exposure to other leaders and their methods, etc.
Fractional CIO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
Leaders are born and then nurtured to believe in themselves

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