Leadership: Nature or Nurture

Published: 2021-06-23
582 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Over the years, the nature vs. nurture debate has been ongoing. Today, the debate emanates from leadership with the contentious question being; are leaders born or made? Various scholars and researchers have conducted extensive studies and research endeavors with the end goal of bolstering either side of this debate. On the one hand, some believe leaders are born, not made hence nature surpassing nurture. On the contrary, others affirm that leaders are made not born, supporting nurture over nature. Along these lines, it, therefore, becomes imperative to take a gander at both sides.

Extensive research affirms that children born to two parents in leadership positions are up to 24 percent likely to become leaders (Moran, 2013). Another proponent also argues that up to a third of leadership aspects are inherited. Subsequently, children sufficiently fortunate to be naturally introduced to a brilliant family, have an edge on grasping intelligence. Nonetheless, accentuation on training, basic thinking, and growing mentally has a significant effect. Information about education and comprehension of new subjects depict that the individuals who stay up to speed with the industry training and venture into new territories of learning make better leaders. Furthermore, these research studies and research endeavors remain hazy on whether critical thinking capacity is inherited. However, it can be incredibly developed by first ecological components like upbringing and tutoring. Inquiries about complex issues mirror illuminated problem-solving skills. Individuals who have displayed a mix of critical thinking capacity and the versatility significant to beat disaster or noteworthy mishaps like a business failure regularly make better leaders given their experience and compassion (Moran, 2013).

On the other hand, it is plausible to conclude that leadership and expertise stem from environmental factors and not genetics (Plomin, et al., 2014). Furthermore, experts affirm that despite the modern school of thought that leaders are born and not made, it is not as black and white (Williams, 2013). An individuals ability to assume a leadership position is a mind-boggling result of hereditary and natural impacts. While case studies and experts assert that the review demonstrates leaders such as but not limited to Churchill or Thatcher were born extraordinary, this school of thought that leadership is an ability remains to a great extent plausible (Williams, 2013). Thus, one can learn to be a successful leader. Also, leadership is a practical skill that can be taught at any level.

In synopsis, whereas most headlines and case studies depict that leaders are born and not made, there exists empirical evidence that the converse is also true. Leaders can be made, and leadership can be taught. Consequently, natural and hereditary aspects are significant in leadership. Be that as it may, the techniques of leadership can also be acquired. Thus, the biggest distinction between nature and nurture exists in personalities and not in leadership. In leadership, arguments that bolster nature over nurture and vice versa are not sufficient. If anything, they are complimentary. Furthermore, most leadership characteristics that are conventionally believed to mirror the innate, inherited talents emanate from continuous practice and training. Finally, diverse childhood experiences, exposures, opportunities, education, and training are the ultimate determinants of leadership success.



Moran, G. (2013, October 14). Leadership: Nature or Nurture? Retrieved from Entrepreneur: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229289.

Plomin, R., Shakeshaft, N. G., McMillan, A., Plomin, M. T., G., S. N., Andrew, M., & Maciej, T. (2014). Nature, nurture, and expertise. Intelligence, 4659.

Williams, M. (2013, November 26). Nature vs nurture: can you learn to be a successful leader? Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/careers/women-leadership-blog/nature-nurture-learn-successful-leader.



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