The Leadership Gene

Over the last few years I have often wondered what catalyst makes a leader? Is it one defining moment or a series of events? This begs the question is a leader born or made?

My answer to that question is it is a combination of both. Artists are not born with the knowledge of painting and athletes are not born with knowledge of their sport. So what makes an artist a great artist or an athlete a great athlete? They were born with potential. Similarly leaders are born with potential to lead. Whether or not they go on to become a leader is another discussion.

I believe that there are two factors that shape a leader:

  1. You are born with the potential to become a leader-a genetic predisposition. There is some aspect of genetic programming that you inherit form your parents. A youthful rebelliousness to stand up and be counted.
  2. A socialization process that leaders experience throughout their life. Childhood, school, friendships, social class and culture help shape and influence the mind of a leader.

We are all born with the potential to be leaders. Leadership is something you decide to do.  Whether or not you go on to become a leader is one of the many choices we make in life.


2 thoughts on “The Leadership Gene

  1. Thanks for posting this Arun. As a former Teach-Advise-Cousel (TAC) officer at a military academy, I can tell you this is the same view we took when teaching leadership principles to young officer candidates. With potential and certain (born) personality traits, you can be molded into leaders.


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