During the era of agricultural societies (7,000 – 8,000 BCE), humans started to transition from band living to tribal forms, and hence, the basic political entities started to form which later flourished in industrial societies. The body of government was designed and leaders were being assigned to run a nation. We have a very strong history of a powerful leader who ruled with sheer determinism and intelligence. From Alexander the Great to Genghis khan to Quaid-e-Azam, their impeccable strategies and determinism still today are admired by the world.
Now the question arises, “Are politicians are inborn leaders, or are they learned?” This has been debated for many years and there is no specific and authentic answer to it.
According to behavioral theorists, leaders are made through learning a plethora of soft skills and emulating leading behavior. Leadership is enclosed with numerous skills that can be learned through observing, training, and practice. According to Psychological research, a leader comprises one-third of inborn qualities and two-thirds of learned qualities. Some of the psychological studies also indicated that leadership roles are also influenced by genes. In accordance with the new study, the DNA sequence rs4950 plays an integral part in about 24% of leadership quality.
After a long study, I believe both of the reasons play a role in making a politician. There are three elements that take part in carving a great leader: inborn qualities, learning, and an environment. According to the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, the leadership traits are intrinsic and they show its true colors under certain situations. Both the part nature and nurture are considered to be a part of it. The nature qualities may include extroversion, honesty, risk-taker, decisive, exuberant, brave, compassion and moral vision, etc. The nurture qualities may be leadership programs and workshops, political study, learning and experiencing strategies, maintaining confidence, dealing with circumstances and getting inspiration from other leaders, etc. Around 60% of people believe that leaders are made while 30% believe they are inborn and 10% vote for both.
As far as my perception is concerned, everything needs raw material to make a product. For example, a painter wanted to express his vision through painting but he doesn’t have paints. So if a leader wanted to rule and express his vision, he should have inborn qualities to learn and polish skills. As Warren Bennis says,
“Leadership is the capacity to turn vision into reality.”
Many people are born with leadership qualities but they don’t know about it or they’re suppressed due to a conservative environment. But through training and practice, they emerge.
The notion of Great Man’s Theory suggested that every person is born with distinct aura and qualities. So as the leaders are born with certain traits and characteristics which later make them a great ruler. But when leading in a certain platform, the quality needs to be polished as no one is perfect. A chef who the leader in a kitchen can’t lead a football team. So leading a nation, a politician needs to learn leadership skills in accordance with his platform. So, the above statements enlighten upon the fact that skill of leadership doesn’t revolve around a few components but they’re vast or more specifically, it’s infinite.
Many studies are still debating over this question and providing different factual reasons to justify. In my opinion, this question is not valid enough to argue. It’s pretty obvious that everybody is born with inborn capabilities and to make it more impeccable, a skill must have to be learned and practice. Many singers are born with the talent of singing which they further polish through taking classes. So become a great leader, a capable candidate must need to carve the skills through training. Nelson Mandela who was the first black President of South Africa in 1994 was a shepherd in a village but his inborn capabilities and later influence of the environment (From taking part in movements to staying in prison for rights) exhibited leadership characters in him. So, it cliché to justify one reason for leadership. Leadership skills are an ocean of capabilities where perpetual waves of experiences and obstacles are striking the coast each second. The learning of leadership skills has no end. It goes a whole life. Every new day. Every new challenge. Every new experience. For example, during the COVID pandemic, every nation suffered economically, socially, and suffered huge losses and deaths. But this scenario also taught leaders and politicians how to deal with these situations strategically and with new schemes. So, there’s always room to learn.
“Learning and leadership are dispensable to each other.”