Are people born leaders or nurtured?

joy of leadership is helping others succeedWe all know larger than life leaders.  Those we think are born leaders.  They are frequently on television, the internet, and newspapers.  We have studied them in the history books.  They are the Presidents, CEOs, Head Coaches, and Generals that command our attention.  If you are not just like these leaders, then you must not be a born leader.  So how did they get where they are?

Vince Lombardi said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”  I agree with Lombardi, that leaders are truly made.  Here are a few ideas on what makes great leaders:

True leadership lies in guiding others to success.”– Bill Owens

A good objective of leadership[ is to help those who are doing poorly to do well, and to help those who are doing well do even better.” – Jim Rohn

“True leadership must be for the benefit of the followers, not the enrichment of the leaders.” – Robert Townsend

Management is about arranging and telling.  Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.”– Tom Peters

We are all gifted with abilities that if used to their fullest can help others succeed – and that is the definition of leadership.  The nurturing comes in the seeing of what true leadership really is.

“No one is born as a leader, but everyone is born to lead.”


4 Responses to Are people born leaders or nurtured?
  1. howard ellisonHoward Ellison

    Your quote from Bill Owens sums it up “True leadership lies in guiding others to success”.
    I was fortunate to work with a natural leader, the chair of a voluntary organisation, who across three incredibly creative years gave me as project developer maximum freedom and friendly constructive feedback. This was never oppressive, and always two-way: he had the humility and confidence to invite my view of him. We developed great mutual respect, and I found within myself a leadership capacity I had no idea existed for the first three decades of my life. More important, maybe, It set a positive view of what people really can achieve when trusted.

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Howard, thank you for your wonderful story as an example of what we all should do as leaders.

  2. Tammy Stroh

    To lead is to inspire.

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Tammy, you are so right.