We have trained individuals and teams from more than 8,000 organisations. See more of our clients.

Leadership – Nature versus Nurture

April 19, 2022

Are leaders born or made?

The age old argument of Nature Vs Nurture is a popular one when it comes to leadership. Are good leaders developed and nurtured or are certain individuals born to lead?

This is a topic that has come up many times at the Impellus office, and I think its fair to say we are split down the middle in our views.

Some of us are of the view that leadership is something that we are born with – it’s in our genes. Whilst others are adamant that we can learn the skills needed to be a great leader.

We often hear the phrase “natural born leader”…

…which would make you think that leadership is an innate skill some people have and others don’t.

I’m sure if you think back to the best leaders that you have had in your careers, chances are there was an effortlessness about their behaviour and attitude that felt, well, natural.

These natural-born leaders as we might call them, rose to the occasion because that’s just who they are.

Whether managing a growing business or leading a major corporation, leaders emerge by developing their natural talents.

However, leadership being an intrinsic intelligence rather than something that can be taught or learned is a notion that is outdated and limited in evidence.

This false impression of natural-born leaders originates from past conceptual frameworks stating that people are born with an innate wiring.

Trait Theory and the Great Man Theory were two of those frameworks that were built on the premise that leaders are born and not made.

The theories stated that people are born with the right abilities and traits, which cannot be learned, such as:

  • Intellect
  • Social skills
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Correct physiological attributes
  • Family background

In addition, the Great Man Theory followed the notion that leadership was only reserved for males.

Today, many of these characteristics are classified as soft skills and can be easily learnt through training and development.

The skill of leadership is no science, but more an art, which is perfected over over time through continuous learning.

Leadership is a lifetime pursuit, and along with personal and professional development, there is always room for improvement – to learn new skills, new ways to strengthen your management, and new techniques which can help you practice your leadership skills.

So how about instead of asking the question, “are leaders born or made?” Why don’t we ask…

How are leaders born? By being made?

To strengthen and develop your leadership skills and potentially learn something new, why not join one of our courses where we help improve those vital skills such as; communication, motivation, change management, delegation, team building and so much more.

 

Written by Alison Ibrahim – Senior Leadership and Management Trainer

What we do

Everything we do is about encouraging managers, leaders and key team members to consider the power and agency they have to deliver at the highest level.

We’re chosen repeatedly by many of the UK’s leading employers.

leadership-management-training-what-we-do

Our Clients

We’ve delivered results for over 8,000 businesses, public-sector organisations and non-profits. See some of them.

HCD Group
Case study

HCD Group

HCD Group is a multi-disciplined consultancy services company to the construction industry.

Continue reading

Customer testimonial

The breakout rooms were really helpful for learning, everyone came from different companies/experience levels/team structures and it was important to hear that the challenges are broadly similar. Gave us ample opportunity to learn from one another, and David (James) was great at consolidating that in the bigger group.

R.M , Strategy Insights International Limited

What I most enjoyed about this course was how flexible it was and that you could do it at your own pace.
The courses were very informative and got you thinking in a totally different way.

Sarah Parke , Bathshack

Content, the ability to keep the participant engaged throughout the day, the presenter was very good, breakout rooms are a good idea.

C.R , Exceed (XCD) Holdings Limited

Really enjoyed actively learning alongside likeminded people, working in similar roles and being able to put what you learn into practice straight away!

Daisy Campbell , NDL Software Ltd

Excellent course. Good range of material and teaching styles which kept me interested and engaged throughout the day!

A.U , South Eastern Regional College

Consistency and flexibility

Deliver the same levels of learning in the ways that works best for each individual in your team. Whatever their circumstances.

Find out more

Contemporary expertise

Our experienced trainers and assessors stay at the forefront by continuously training and being assessed themselves.

Find out more

The Impellus Business Centre

The Impellus Business Centre provides online access to your organisation’s account and learning records. Free for all clients.

Find out more

Entirely results-focused

Every course, every qualification, every time we help or advise we’re focused on delivering real and measurable workplace results.

Find out more

Thought leadership

How to Become a Project Manager

How to Become a Project Manager

The world of project management is exciting, fascinating and can be highly rewarding. If you’re looking to become a Project Manager but you don’t know where to start, the good news is that ...

Read more

Don’t miss out. Receive updates on the funded courses available in your area as they become available