Leaders: Born or Made? A True Story.
On one end, people believe leaders are made, not born. On the other end, they believe individuals are natural born leaders. Throughout my MHA program, a few professors have emphasized that ANYONE can be a leader. I’ve heard many times throughout the program leaders are not born. Instead, individuals learn how to perform ‘leader’ duties effectively and leadership skills are developed overtime. I concur with most of what they’re relaying, but not 100%. I agree that anyone can be a leader and leadership skills can be developed overtime, but I also believe that there are people who are born with leadership qualities.
If you take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test and answer the questions truthfully, you will be able to find out your psychological preferences, how you perceive the world and how you make decisions. This test can identify the individuals who would make a great leader based on their personality type. If you look at ENTJs, they make good leaders because of their innate ability to direct groups of people, they’re influential, organized, self-driven, motivated, energetic, assertive, confident and competitive. Or if you look at ENFJs, they are ambitious, believers, inspire others, and they have natural confidence. These are some of the traits or characteristics of a great leader.
True Story: Growing up, I always wanted to take on new challenges. I wanted to contribute and to spearhead everything - while empowering others to join alongside me. In 5th grade, I ran for President of the entire elementary school and was elected. In high school, I attended healthcare week at Pacific Lutheran University and ran for CEO of my mock clinic and was elected. My team and I placed 2nd overall and 1st in memos. I enjoyed every moment of leading and working with my team. I started my own non-profit organization when I was 18 years old. I started my women’s clothing line/boutique after high school. Started managing a restaurant when I was under 20. Became Assistant Manager of a clinic then promoted to Manager of a million dollar company all under the age of 23. Earned my bachelor’s degree in health studies and now I’m nearing the finish line for my master’s in health administration. I share my past experiences to show this is who I am. I have always enjoyed leadership and management. These are my hard-wired preferences, my personality type. I may change and grow as an individual, but my hard-wired preferences will not.
Individuals can be born with leadership qualities, but they must also learn and understand what it takes to be an EFFECTIVE leader.