For the affirmative:


I believe this is a multifaceted debate because quite honestly it is a little bit of both. Now stick with me here, because I know a solid debate requires no fence sitters. In my opinion I believe leaders are born, however what they do with those gifts is really dependant on the life path they take. I have a seven-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter, it is very easy to see that my daughter could already rule the world with her determination and will. Whereas, my son is much more passive, very ‘go with the flow’ and more than happy to follow her leadership.

I was very similar to my daughter; from a very young age I had all the children in our neighbourhood lined up and joining me in whatever project I had devised. This could be anything from a fundraiser to car washing for Christmas money. I would recruit new kids on every street I passed encouraging them and motivating them. At the time I was called bossy, now looking back it was the start of my path to becoming a leader.

As I matured and was thrust into the workplace, I quickly decided the type of leader I wanted to be – a working one. I learnt from on-the-job experiences that leaders who gave orders and refused to get their hands dirty were not respected and things quickly fell apart at the seams when any trouble occurred. I firmly believe leaders are born, they have a desire from a young age to lead and to motivate and encourage, with a confidence to take the bull by the horns and get things done. Often when I see my kids play at the park or at a birthday party, I sit back and watch how all the children interact. I think from a very young age you can see their little minds developing and the leaders already starting to emerge. I believe you can teach a person to be a better leader but they do need to have the complexities of leadership available within themselves to begin with.

For the negative:


Great leaders are first, great followers. It is through their hard work, passion and commitment that they become leaders. A made leader often comes from humble beginnings. They arrive early, finish late, put in the effort and do the time. They work the hours and get to know everything there is to know about their industry, their trade and their people. It all begins with a purpose and an unobstructed vision for the end goal. What many see as a risk, they see as an opportunity. Made leaders lead by example, gaining respect through their motivation and drive for success. They take pride in their position and stand confident as they strive to achieve greatness. They have learnt over time when to lead but also know when to listen and when to learn.

Made leaders build people up. They have an ability to connect with an employee yet negotiate with a CEO. They’ve learnt from the leaders who have walked the path before them. They create environments that nurture and strengthen their team and realise, as one, they can only achieve so much, but as a team, they can achieve anything. Leaders aren’t always born, they are made. They don’t tell you what to do, they show you how it’s done.