Determinants of Leadership
As you examine the psychology of leadership, it is valuable to start at the beginning. You may start by considering how a person becomes an effective leader. Two possibilities exist. Leaders may be born; that is, they may have certain characteristics present at birth that determine the likelihood that they will become effective leaders. Or leaders may be made; that is, the environment may influence the likelihood of their becoming effective leaders. Chapter 1 in your textbook discusses whether people are born with the qualities of a good leader or learn to lead effectively over time. In the video clip about Barack Obama's leadership, psychologist Daniel Goleman describes the emotional characteristics of a good leader. He considers which emotional characteristics are present at birth and which are learned. This week's resources do not provide an answer about whether effective leaders are born or made because there is no right or wrong answer. There are arguments for both positions. Your entertaining and weighing in on the debate provides a chance for you to consider views on both sides of the issue, express your personal beliefs, and orient yourself to the topic of leadership for your study of the psychology of leadership over the next 6 weeks. To prepare for this Discussion: Review Chapter 1 in your course text, The Art of Leadership. Pay particular attention to the sections titled "Qualities of the Individual" and "Environmental Factors." Review the articles, "Are Great Leaders Born, or Are They Made?," and "Are Leaders Born or Made?," and consider how they apply to the debate about leaders being born or made. Review the article, "Asking the Right Questions About Leadership: Discussions and Conclusions," and pay particular attention to the traits of leaders. Think about whether you believe that leaders are born or made. Identify information from the Learning Resources that support your position. With these thoughts in mind: Post by Day 4 your position on whether you believe leaders are born or made. Justify your position and provide specific examples to illustrate your points. Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.