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  1. 1. Leader Born or Made Subject: Human Resource Management Prof: Sudhir Jadhav Academic Year: 2009-2010 Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics
  2. 2. Presented by: Fathima Habeeb 459 Raghav Gupta 463 Abhishek Shukla 495 Snehal 469 Harita Anuja
  3. 3. Leaders Quoted "Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it." – Warren Bennis "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." – Dwight D. Eisenhower "A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done." – Ralph Lauren Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Put even more simply, the leader is the inspiration and director of the action. He or she is the person in the group that possesses the combination of personality and skills that makes others want to follow his or her direction. In business, leadership is welded to performance. Effective leaders are those who increase their company’s' bottom lines.
  4. 4. Characteristics of a leader There are several qualities and traits that great leaders have in common. These are the characteristics that are typical of quality leadership. These are also the qualities that leaders must possess in order to produce them in their teams or organization – for example, if a leader wishes to encourage confidence, self-discipline, dedication or good communication skills, he or she must first possess these traits themselves. Leading by example if one of the most powerful forms of leadership. 1. Vision: A good leader should have a clear, strong idea of the direction of the group and the goals that need to be achieved, as well as a firm grasp of what success should look like and how to get there. In addition, they must not only have a vision but also be able to share the vision, communicate it clearly to others so that they can buy into it and act upon it. 2. Dedication: Good leaders have the single-minded determination and discipline to work towards his or her vision and to direct the team towards the goal. They will spend whatever time or energy is necessary to accomplish the task and complete the project. 3. Integrity: Integrity inspires trust and respect, which in turn inspires people to follow someone as their leader. A leader who displays integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, in spite of outside pressure, stresses and temptations. Integrity not only refers to values but also to behavior.
  5. 5. 4. Magnanimity: “To spread the fame and take the blame is a hallmark of effective leadership “. In other words, a leader who is magnanimous always gives credit where it is due and also ensures that credit for successes is spread as widely as possible through the team or organization. At the same time, this leader will also take personal responsibility for failures – helping members of the team to feel good about themselves and thus drawing the team closer together. 5. Openness and approachability: Leaders, who show themselves to be open to new ideas, even if they do not conform to the conventional ways of thinking, are more likely to be effective and successful. The ability to suspend judgment while listening to others’ ideas as well as being able to accept new ways of doing things, as suggested by other members in the team, are all signs of great leadership. This openness between the leader and followers helps to build mutual respect, as well as encouraging creativity and the development of new ideas which continually benefit the group as a whole. 6. Humility: This does not mean that a good leader has to be self- effacing; rather it means that a good leader tries to elevate everyone in the team as they recognize that they are no better or worse than other members in the group. Mahatma Gandhi is a great example of a “humble” leader who was nevertheless very powerful and effective
  6. 6. 7. Creativity: Good leaders have the ability to think outside the box; to take a lateral view on things and some up with solutions despite constraints. They will see the things that others may not see and thus help to lead their team in new directions. They will also encourage this creativity in other members of the team and create an environment which fosters and supports creativity. 8. Fairness: Again, an important part of achieving trust and respect is consistent fair dealings with all. For example, a good leader should check all the facts and hear everyone out before passing judgment – and definitely avoid jumping to conclusions based on incomplete evidence. Fair treatment of followers will reward the leader with loyalty and dedication. 9. Assertiveness: Often confused with aggressiveness, which is not a desirable trait in a good leader – assertiveness refers to the ability to clearly describe expectations so that there are no misunderstandings and to display a sort of “diplomatic determination” in order to achieve the desired results. 10. And lastly: Sense of humour is essential as it not only relieves tension and defuses hostility within a group but also helps to strengthen the bond between team members. In fact, humour can be used to energies followers and can even be used as a form of power to provide some control over the team environment.
  7. 7. Factors of leadership 1. Leader Leader must have an honest understanding of he is, what he knows, and what he can do. To be successful a leader must convince his followers, not himself or his superiors, that he is worthy of being followed. 2. Follower Different people require different styles of leadership. For example, a new hire requires more supervision than an experienced employee. A leader must know his people. The fundamental starting point is having a good understanding of human nature, such as needs, emotions, and motivation. 3. Communication A leader leads through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when he "sets an example," that communicates to his people that he will not ask them to perform anything that he will not be willing to do. What and how a leader communicates either builds or harms the relationship between him and his followers.
  8. 8. 4. Situation All are different. What one does in one situation will not always work in another. One must use his judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, a leader may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective. Various forces will affect these factors. Examples of forces are: relationship with your seniors, the skill of people, the informal leaders within the organization, and how the company is organized. Types of leaders 1. Authoritarian Leader (high task, low relationship) These types of leaders are highly task oriented and are hard on their workers. There is little or no allowance for cooperation or collaboration. They expect people to do what they are told without question or debate; when something goes wrong they tend to focus on who is to blame rather than concentrate on exactly what is wrong and how to prevent it; they are intolerant of what they see as dissent (it may just be someone's creativity), so it is difficult for their subordinates to contribute or develop.
  9. 9. 2. Team Leader (high task, high relationship) This type of person leads by positive example and endeavors to foster a team environment in which all team members can reach their highest potential, both as team members and as people. They encourage the team to reach team goals as effectively as possible, while also working tirelessly to strengthen the bonds among the various members. 3. Country Club Leader (low task, high relationship) Such leaders use predominantly reward power to maintain discipline and to encourage the team to accomplish its goals. Conversely, they are almost incapable of employing the more punitive coercive and legitimate powers. This inability results from fear that using such powers could jeopardize relationships with the other team members. 4. Impoverished Leader (low task, low relationship) A leader who uses a "delegate and disappear" management style. They essentially allow their team to do whatever it wishes and prefer to detach them from the team process by allowing the team to suffer from a series of power struggles. Apart from the above said leaders there are few other leaders A. Charismatic’s can be initially exuberant about a new idea or proposal but will yield a final decision based on a balanced set of information. They are mercurial and can leap at an attractive idea
  10. 10. that they can call their own. They will tend to accept – or reject – an idea on the spot. B. Thinker’s can exhibit contradictory points of view within a single meeting and need to cautiously work through all the options before coming to a decision. They need to be given the time and the material so that they can work through the details. C. Skeptics remain highly suspicious of data that don't fit with their worldview and make decisions based on their gut feelings. D. Followers make decisions based on how other trusted executives, or they themselves, have made similar decisions in the past. Followers need to be given evidence of how other trusted executives, or they themselves, have made similar decisions in the past E. Controllers tend to focus on the pure facts and analytics of a decision because of their own fears and uncertainties. They need to be given the facts and analytics of an issue Leaders Born Or Created Opinions of personalities Krstulovic wrote They are born to be made. Let me clarify it this way – Leadership is a set of skills that can be learned by practice over time. This is true of literally any skill. However, you need some in-born talent or “pre-determination”
  11. 11. to master the skill. There is a significant difference between “learning the skill” and mastering one. I love basketball, but no matter how hard I practice, I won’t be able to play it like Michael Jordan. I hope you see where I am coming from. S. Hazra wrote Everyone comes into this world by virtue of birth and so do the Leaders!! Leadership is a skill and like any other skill can be acquired over a period of time by practicing it. Some people are talented and are born with good leadership qualities. One has to hone it over a period of periods and has to remain dynamic. Not all of the leaders are born with the same, it is through your upbringing and training of your mind, perseverance, ability & aptitude to learn can only make a good leader. There are certain traits but as a Leadership has Application dimension, hence, simply knowing the traits will not make a good leader. Lawrence wrote The truly gifted leaders are born with certain supporting traits like patience, perseverance, creative thoughtfulness and ability to change. They have the required traits more than the ordinary or average. They become honed through adversity which everyone encounters and rather than simply surviving, they are thriving. Most leaders are born without those qualities and are simply trained to behave as leaders and receive respect from the leadership appointed status. One can easily spot them since they are the gatekeepers surrounded by mediocrity who prevent the talent to rise.
  12. 12. Bose wrote Leaders are born. Not everyone can be a Leader. I would rather say Leaders are synonymous to " Great Communicators who have an aggressive attitude to win" Whether you motivate people, lead a team, or possess great negotiation skills, you should be a good communicator first. A leader should command and vision for their team, or organization, and most importantly, the people in his team. They give a strategic direction to the people of his team and set goals with an objective to achieve with optimum utilization of resources. The best parts about the leaders are they are able to motivate their team and they take the team along with them. They just don' t lead a team but also teach them how to lead and make them responsible. J. Foster wrote Both. Look back to human roots, leaders were the strongest. Survival of the fittest, hunters and gatherers, the strongest was most often the leader. Now did that mean that person was the best leader? What you learn, is life experiences. Based on those life experiences, training mentoring, you can hopefully make better more sound choices. The born traits are personality traits, and of the personality traits some can be molded from birth, some stick with the person regardless.
  13. 13. Contd…. Born Leader Personality traits of a born leader There is a Personality Profile that exists that is a Natural Born Leader. There are 5 specific Personality Traits that define a Natural Born Leader. A Natural born leader will test extremely high in areas of Social ability, Self Confidence, Assertiveness, and Boldness. 1. Social ability: Good natured Extroverted, outgoing, friendly, gregarious, neighborly, congenial. Warmhearted individuals who enjoy interacting and participating with others. They greet strangers openly, are quick to form friendships, and enjoy careers dealing with people rather than things. They are rarely content in solitary work. 2. Self Confidence : Determines Success Self-assured, certain, secure, brave, fulfilled, poised, self-reliant. Believe they have the knowledge and ability to be successful at whatever they attempt. Cope successfully with challenges and are not easily discouraged. Handle unexpected situations well, make decisions with assurance, and are quick to express ideas and opinions. 3. Assertiveness :Aggressive, persuasive, influential, headstrong, opinionated, possibly argumentative and hostile. Believe that being assertive and taking the offensive is essential to attaining success.
  14. 14. They make things happen, rather than waiting for them to happen, and are willing to be forceful in order to get a job done. May be authoritarian. 4. Boldness: Adventurous, daring, carefree, brave, courageous, audacious, fearless. Uninhibited individuals who are willing to try new and different experiences. They can function normally even in unfamiliar environments, and are quick to accept challenges and willing to take risks to accomplish their objectives. May be pushy and ignore warning signs. Skills of ‘Natural’ Born Leaders Foundational skills Expand self-awareness Build rapport Clarify expectations Leadership direction skills Map the territory to identify the need to lead Chart a course of leadership action Develop others as leaders Leadership influence skills Build the base to gain commitment Influence others to willingly follow Create a motivating environment
  15. 15. Foundational skills The foundational skills are prerequisites for all others skills. Mastery of the foundational skills provides necessary firm footing to have more impact, be more effective and to achieve greater leader’s success. Vince Lombardi said that “success comes from those who are brilliant at the basics”. For to become master leaders the basics are self-awareness, a capacity to build rapport and an ability to clarify expectations. Leadership direction skills Leaders provide direction through uncertainty. Leaders must emerge when problems blindside people and when people cannot resolve the problems they face. Leaders should set up in response to opportunities others miss and when people do not know how to take advantage of possibilities. People need direction when the organizational structure cannot or does not provide it. Exceptional leaders “map the territory” to identify the need to lead, they chart a course of action to meet the need. No single leader can identify all the needs and chart every course of action, those who lead, especially on a broad, global scale, and those who direct large groups and organizations must multiply themselves. they develop other leaders Leadership influence skill Expert leaders have to influence people willingly to follow. Willingness is the cooperative word. they gain commitment rather than rely on command and compliance. They create a desire in followers rather than demand that subordinates fulfill requirements. They inspire rather than
  16. 16. require. those who offer a direction at whatever level, become leaders when others willingly follow. Example: Indira Gandhi Indira Nehru Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 and would be the only child of Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. Being influenced and inspired by her parents, Indira Gandhi rose to power in India and eventually became prime minister. She dedicated her life to progress in her country despite the overwhelming problems and challenges she encountered. Her road to power and politics started when she turned twelve years of age. During the time of British imperialism, many Indian National Congress workers from Allahabad did not know when or if the British would arrest them or search their homes. In order to find out when this would occur, the Monkey Brigade was formed. Although Indira claimed to have thought of the idea, some asserted that the Monkey Brigade was the idea of the Congress. In any event, Indira became the leader of this children's group whose purpose was to help end British control in India. Being its leader, she delivered speeches while other children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested. The Congress figured that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement. Although some deemed it a joke, Indira took her job very seriously. One of the most significant actions of the Monkey Brigade involved Indira. The Congress party's top officials were organizing a civil disobedience movement. After the meeting, the documents containing the plans of the movement were placed in the trunk of a car with Indira in the back seat. Before the car was ready to leave the area, a police inspector stopped the car in order to search it. However, Indira pleaded with him not to inspect the car because the delay would cause
  17. 17. her to arrive late at school. Fortunately, the inspector believed her and the car was not searched. In 1938, Indira finally joined the Indian National Congress Party, something she always longed to do. Soon afterwards in 1942, she married journalist Feroze Gandhi to whom she eventually bore two sons. Soon after the couple was married, they were sent to prison on charges of subversion by the British. Her first and only imprisonment lasted from September 11, 1942 until May 13, 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad. Fortunately, India won its independence from Britain in 1947. In that same year, Indira's father Jawaharlal Nehru became prime minister and served until his death in 1964. Since her mother had died in 1936, Indira acted as hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru to meet famous political figures. Later in 1959, Gandhi became the fourth woman elected president of the Indian National Congress. After her father's death, the new Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Indira Gandhi as minister of information and broadcasting. This position was the fourth highest ranking position in the Cabinet. Many Indians were illiterate. Therefore, radio and television played a major part in informing them. As minister, she most importantly encouraged the making of inexpensive radios and started a family planning program. After Shastri's death in 1966, Indira Gandhi served as prime minister until India held the next election. She won that election, and in 1967, became one of the first women ever elected to lead a democracy. In 1971, Gandhi was re-elected by campaigning with the slogan "Abolish Poverty." However in 1975, Gandhi was found guilty of violating election laws. Later, the conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of India. Also, to control population growth, Gandhi implemented a voluntary sterilization program. As a result, adversaries criticized her and her administration in general. To secure her power and because of escalating riots, on June 26, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency which limited the personal freedom of Indians. Also, she
  18. 18. ordered the arrests of the main opposition leaders. In her opinion, her dictatorship was for the good of India. But she allowed free elections in 1977, and the Indian people voted her out of office. She regained her position as prime minister in 1980. Unfortunately on October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards assassinated her. They did so to avenge the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Gandhi had ordered the storming in June because of what her government considered terrorist activity of extremist Sikhs who had occupied the Temple. As prime minister, Gandhi tried to improve the lives of Indians. With her neighbors, the Soviet Union and China, she improved relations. She also promoted science and technology. In 1971, India sent its first satellite into space. Economically, Indira Gandhi led India to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world toward the end of her time as prime minister. Dhoni, the new Midas of Indian cricket Call it a co-incidence or sheer luck, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has always been at the right place on the right time. His inimitable coiffure became a cynosure of world leaders. Every inch of his tresses made front page news. He stood by his selected few and brought world to his feet. He gave the small town cricketers a chance to move forward. He led with the ebullience of King Leonidas of Sparta. Call him the man in love with mean machines. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is by all means the new cricketing blockbuster.
  19. 19. Everyone knows where cricket in India was headed after the Men in Blue stumbled upon the Caribbean hurdle. Indian cricket had hit its lowest point. The coach refused to prolong his stint. Rahul Dravid tendered his resignation on personal grounds. Tendulkar was offered the captaincy, but he rejected it. No one was ready to take on the gauntlet. The man of the moment or call it a guinea pig then was to be Dhoni, who by default got his hands on the hot seat as he was elevated to vice-captaincy just before the English and Irish tour. Apparently, it was Sachin who recommended Dhoni’s name. But none other than Dhoni deserved this post for the way he has come up the ranks. His strong rooting to reality and a humble background pushed his case above the glamorous but out-of-form then Yuvraj Singh. With no godfather, Dhoni’s throne is purely built on raw talent and his ability to treat the game like a game and not a religion. You can call this a stroke of luck that he got the job of a deputy skipper for ODI’s for the first time and was elevated to leader of the pack in no time at all.
  20. 20. Contd…… Created Leaders “Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” - Vincent Lombardi The age-old question continues to raise its ugly head Are leaders born to lead, or are they made? Does Leadership DNA exist? We often point to one person or the other and say, “Now, he’s a leader,” without giving a lot of thought to how this person became a leader in the first place. Sometimes it is easy to simply conclude that some of us have the leadership gene and some of us do not. Those who do get to lead, while those who do not are forever assigned to the sidelines while leaders have all the fun, make all the decisions, and cover themselves in glory. This comes as rather unsettling news for those who fear may not get the opportunity to lead. What hope ever aspire to lead people, teams, companies, organizations, even children?
  21. 21. Fear not, there is hope for the rest because here is some very good news Leadership DNA is a myth. There is no such thing as a natural ability to lead that exists within some of us while remaining absent in others. A closer examination of those leaders often hold in high regard, those refer to as role models, will reveal one common characteristic among all of them. They all have a burning desire to lead, to be influential, motivational, and take responsibility for themselves and others. What makes these leaders effective is not a natural ability; it is their desire to lead people, combined with a set of learned skills that they apply as leaders. The only real ingredient in the leadership recipe that they possessed when they began leading was desire. They learned the rest of it. The desire to lead was the motivational ingredient that drove them to lead, the skills they learned along the way are what allowed them to lead people. Obviously, there are some people who demonstrate a greater ability for leading people than others demonstrate. They are Leadership All-Stars. They are the best leaders among us and have become the best by practicing and learning from their practice. Nearly all of them would recall the key experiences in their life from which they learn the practice of leadership. Nearly all of them would say the starting point for their leadership journey began at the intersection of a desire to lead and learning how to lead. Equipped with the desire to lead, the absence of the leadership gene is irrelevant. Leaders are developed. Leadership is nothing more than a collection of skills, that when employed, produce results. • Leaders create the motivational environment for their followers that cause them to want to achieve.
  22. 22. • They are able to easily identify the needs of their followers and direct them on the pathway to success. • Leaders can skillfully strike the balance between attending to the needs of their followers while accomplishing the tasks required of them. • Leaders can learn leadership skills in a variety of ways (training, self-study, observing other leaders) but unless these skills are practiced in realistic and meaningful experiences they are forgotten. Development is the key that unlocks the leadership gateway. It is the continuous increase in skills and abilities that occurs over time. It is the result of continuously learning through life’s experiences, coupled with reflective practice-taking a hard look at oneself in the context of those experiences. It is the practice of reflecting upon one’s experiences, usually facilitated by experts, which produces leaders who produce results. The evidence that supports development as the pathway to leadership is substantial, and it is nothing new. Some of the premier institutions in the United States are based on the principle that by reflective practice, people can be developed into leaders. All three of the nation’s military academies and all four of the nation’s military services subscribe to the principle that almost anyone who possesses a desire to lead can become a fundamentally sound leader. Universities throughout the United States are busily standing up bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, awarding degrees in leadership. Numerous companies in the private sector have been developing their own brand of leader, designed to meet their needs. Companies like General Electric, Southwest Airlines and Dell place significant emphasis on developing leaders and they have reaped the rewards from their efforts. Institutions and organizations like these believe that leadership can be learned, and more importantly, leaders can be developed.
  23. 23. Leaders aren't born. Neither are great artists, but both are born with potential. If being a leader means challenging the status quo, then you need youthful rebelliousness to stand up and be counted. This is a character trait you were born with or developed very early in life - it is not a learned skillet. To lead, you need the following traits or qualities: • a spirit of adventure the urge to explore • break new ground • challenge the status quo • stand up for what you believe • risk rejection • rebel against authority • innovate • an ability to influence • logical argument • enthusiasm • persistence • The courage to speak out and the willingness to risk group rejection. It doesn't require a drive to dominate people, only a desire to differentiate yourself, to make your mark. No one is born a leader, just as no one is born a talented artist. But you can be born with the underlying traits that make you a potential artist given the right stimulus and environment. Similarly, exploratory, rebellious characters could become criminals rather than leaders depending on circumstances, so it is the potential you
  24. 24. are born with, not full scale leadership. Mozart was not born a musician after all - just with the creative potential to become one. EVERYONE can show some leadership - you don't have to be an out and out rebel. Anyone with suggestions to make to improve things can show leadership at least on a small, local scale. We all have good ideas for doing things better. It's just a matter of speaking up and persisting until you win support for your views. You don't have to be a manager to be a leader. It is wrong to say that leaders are born. If leaders are born then what is the need of education, institution and knowledge. For example The LEAD INDIA campaign was all about creating leaders within the society. India does not need few leaders but many-many leaders. India needs leaders in bulk. As world thinkers have rightly pointed out that leaders can be created, generated and groomed. India needs thousands of them and India can not wait for them to be born... Every individual is born similar. The extensive DNA research costing billions have confirmed the old disbelief of human beings. No body is born with any pre-conceived ideas. No body is born Rajput, Pundit or Chamar. No body is born genius. All human beings are born same with the same blood irrespective of religion, region and caste. All are same. The distinction was created earlier to maintain the calmness in society but today that same calmness is keeping the society deprived and poor.
  25. 25. This fallacy has to be understood by our thinkers, educators and intellectuals. Leaders are made. Leadership skills can be developed and mastered, because a truly great leader is made greater through his/ her trials and tribulations. When one takes the time to learn from their or others past successes, mistakes and failures then implement needed changes that alone can lead to success in leadership. Failures can be turned into "how to succeed next time". Even if an heir is given a leadership role, then he/ she must work at becoming the best that they can be in that position. Simply what got you into a leadership role may not be enough to keep you there or get you to the next level. Some people that are in a position where their achievement or being given the position of leadership requires the support of others can play the role of a leader. Leaders that participate in developmental programs can receive feedback from others & the follow-up with others can make them greatly become better leaders. If you are working with and through others to achieve objectives, you are already a leader. Whether they are fantastic leaders or disastrous leaders is another issue. With that said, depending on someone’s intelligence, aptitude & abilities, being a leader with leadership skills can be developed and mastered.
  26. 26. Skills which are needed to become a great leader in the business world are such as effective communication, accountability, delegation, decision-making and coaching. The embodiment of each of these skills is what makes an effective leader. All of these skills can be learned. There are also habits that are counterproductive to leadership that can be unlearned. For example, some people have a tendency to finish a thought or sentence with a question. While this can make someone approachable if it is used in small doses, overuse can undermine a person as an effective leader. You cannot 'send' someone on a leadership programme that doesn't want to be there and expect them to become a leader. It's not like the reluctant presenter who gets sent along to a course and finds out that it's not so bad after all. If your prospective leader isn't fully engaged in the process, sending them along to be 'taught' leadership skills will be a waste of time and money. However, when someone has to step into a new leadership role, or there are greater expectations of how they manage people, or they've become a project leader, and they show a willingness to develop and take on new skills, then it's really possible to give these people a leadership boost. Everyone can develop their capacity to lead, from church committees to local pressure groups to business teams to political parties. When someone is committed to, and practices using their leadership capabilities at all levels in their life, then they can and will develop their own potential as a leader. Leaders are rarely born because:
  27. 27. They often do not carry any legacy nor are they from great families. People who have initiated and propagated great changes are seldom there because of a birthright. They emerged as and remained great leaders out of their own merit. They began with a decision to take on leadership and a determination to lead a cause that they believed in. Traditionally, leadership skills were always thought to be something people are born with; that leadership is about being genetically lucky. But as researchers correlated scores on IQ and personality tests, they found only a modest and moderate relationship that did not differentiate leaders from non-leaders in any way. Even a behavioral correlation established the same. So, leaders were proved to be non-distinguishable from other people in terms of their intelligence and other abilities. Even as we study history, leaders seldom appear to have a past where they exhibited some extraordinary physical or mental capabilities, setting them several notches above other people. On the contrary, many of the world’s great leaders had been branded below average or just average individuals at some point in their lives. Each of them emerged as leaders because they took a decision to lead. Leaders are hardly ever exceptional. And they need not be. Leadership is not something with which you are born, it is not inherited, but it is something you decide to do. Leaders are the ones who are bold enough to take a decision when they are faced with a defining moment. Example: Henry Ford
  28. 28. Take Henry Ford. He not only revolutionized industrial production, but also had such influence over the 20th century economy and society that his combination of mass production, high wages and low prices to consumers is still called “Fordism”. His parents were poor immigrants from Western England where they were evicted from their land in Somerset. They underwent great tribulations as they came over to America looking for a new start. As a child, Ford was quiet and inward looking, and spent much of his time around his mother. She died while he was very young, leading him into depression. His father despised him for not showing any interest or skill in farm work and literally wrote Henry off, saying he would never amount to anything. During most of his younger days, Ford apprenticed as a low-level machinist at various places, not even earning enough to lead a decent living. He did not own anything that could make him a born leader — no birthright, no pedigree and certainly no extraordinary attributes. Nobody ever recognized that he could do anything worthwhile. But when he took the decision to lead, he went on to be one of the greatest leaders the corporate world has ever seen. He brought on a new age of industrialization and urbanization owing mostly to his leadership in the automobile industry. Narendra Modi He is the Chief Minister of Gujarat, a state which he has been able to successfully convert into an investment hotpsot. Born on September 17, 1950, in a small town of Vadnagar in Mehsana district in North Gujarat, he completed his schooling in Vadnagar and did his masters degree in Political Science from Gujarat University. A student leader of the ABVP, Modi joined the BJP in 1987. In 1995 he was made the National Secretary of the party in-charge of five major states in India. He took
  29. 29. over as the state CM in 2001 after there was internal leadership crisis in the party. Although tthe Godhra riots of 2002 dented his secular image, Modi managed to make a successive comeback in 2002 and 2007 Assembly polls. He is regarded as the future Prime Minister of India and has got a thumbs-up from India Inc for luring investors and ensuring they stay on in the state. His recent admirer is Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata whose much-troubled Nano is now going to roll out of Sanand. Conclusion Great leaders are not born nor made. Great leaders are a product of life experiences and choice. Every individual possesses the ability to choose the path to follow and this defines the individual. There is no one perfect path to follow or correct choice to make as several paths lead to the top and bottom. The opportunities presented differ from one person to another based on several factors such as social class, education and prior decisions. Some people are born with leadership genes as they say, but it can’t sustain them in the long term. A person has to adjust to the situation in which he has been put and accordingly develop skills and enhance knowledge. It is imperative for a person to learn how to handle different issues and agendas in the most satisfying way. That makes a person a leader in the course of time.
  30. 30. No one learns and comes into this world when he is born. Becoming a leader in life depends upon the risks and responsibilities taken and performed. It is all about willingness to take chances. It does not matter if you take a wrong or a right decision. Right decision provides you with zeal to move on. But, wrong decision gives you a chance to improve upon on it and keep yourself and your followers motivated at all times.