Within this report the bold statement “great leaders are born and not made” will be discussed thoroughly. Firstly the explanation of what leadership is and how it differs from managing will be stated. Appropriate theories and examples will be researched and used to critically evaluate the statement. Leadership theories will be discussed and argued throughout the report and the stronger of the theories will be discussed within the conclusion. Also examples of successful leaders within the business world will be used to support each side of the argument being discussed. The conclusion will be a fair and coherent answer as all sides of the argument will be thoroughly researched.
Leadership V Managing Leadership and managing are often thought to be the same thing; however, this is not the case although both are necessary for success. It is often a confusing concept that managing and leading are two different things, but as quoted on infed.com; “Not all managers, for example are leaders; and not all leaders are managers” Below is a table showing the dramatic differences between what is expected of a leader and what is expected of a manager.
(Blackboard Academic Suite, Leadership Lecture Notes) The definition given for Leadership in ‘Understanding Management’ textbook is; “The ability
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“Leadership refers to the process of influencing the activities of others towards high levels of goal setting and achievement.” This quote again highlights that the leader’s job is to help others attain goals which are set at high levels. Leaders are there to influence others and are people who have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and are able to communicate what they want the end goal to be. Therefore it seen that Leaders are the influential tool within the working environment and are able to help people achieve goals, whereas with managing it is said within the same textbook that; “Management is the activity of getting things done with aid of people and other resources.”
With these comments it is shown that although both leaders and managers are both focusing on achieving goals they both tackle the process in entirely different ways. Leadership is seen to be at the centre of the survival and success of groups and organisations. During the early 20th century is when the interest in leadership developed and during this time many leadership theories have been developed.
However with the term “great leaders are born and not made” the theories that are going to be discussed within this report are the trait theories and behavioural theory. There are other theories such as contingency and situational, however; with the aim of the report being to determine whether or not leaders are born or made it would seem that the two theories been chosen to discuss help to support each side of the argument.
Trait Theory The trait theory is a theory which believes the statement; “leaders are born not made.” With the trait theory the idea is to clearly identify traits that are possessed by important leaders with the idea that those who possess certain traits can be more effective as a leader. The definition given for traits within the “Management: An Introduction” textbook is; “Traits are a variety of individual attributes, including aspects of personality, temperament, needs, motives and values” The trait theory believes that both the traits and the skills found within these great leaders are hereditary. Those researching leadership believed that traits and skills that were identified could later be used to help select future leaders. The table below presents the results, of Stodgdill’s (1974) research into 163 trait studies which were published between 1949 and 1970, as shown in the textbook ‘Management