Are Leaders Born or they are made? Very old debate indeed.
Is Manager the One Who Pushes and the Leader who Pulls as this Diagram below shows?
Or it is the Lean Management Definition which better explains the Difference?
Reminds me of a Hindi Phrase “Honhar birwan ke hot chikne paat” which means “महान लोगों की महानता उनके बाल्यकाल से ही दिख जाती है।” Greatness of Great people is visible from their Childhood. It requires a different eye; it is said, to spot it, see the small symbolic actions of the child, his/her hidden talent, their latent skills and it is said that the Masters ( Gurus) have that ‘X-Ray’ eyes to see them and develop them before they reach adulthood.
The Buddhist saying is – ‘When the Pupil is ready, the Master Appears”.
We see leadership as a continuum with born leaders and “nonleaders” at the extreme ends. Born vs. made continuum. Most people fall somewhere in the … Middle…Or On some ‘Leadership is Thrust upon…”.
Let me explain with this visual I found on Google.
So would it be alright to say that we have a Sleepy leader ( Latent) inside every one of us. Who sits behind masks, opaque glass or stained glass waiting its turn to come out?
Let us take the argument further about Born Leaders, Sleeping Leaders ( I prefer to call them with this name rather than Non-Leaders) who are waiting to be awakened. Either the Circumstances, Situations bring out the Leadership qualities from these Sleeping Leaders or a Spark, A Trigger, A prompt by the Guru or Mentor !.
Many of us know The Story of RaceHorse and Legend – ” Secretariat” . The story of Secretariat began with the toss of a coin in 1969 between Penny Chenery of Meadow Stable and Ogden Phipps of Wheatley Stable. The coin toss was the idea of Phipps, owner of Bold Ruler, and “Bull” Hancock of Claiborne Farms as a way to get the very best mares for Bold Ruler, and when the toss went their way, to add well-bred fillies to their own broodmare band.
Secretariat (March 30, 1970 – October 4, 1989) was an American Thorough bred racehorse that in 1973 became the first U.S. Triple Crown winner in 25 years. He set race records in all three events in the series – the Kentucky Derby (1:59 2/5), the Preakness Stakes (1:53), and the Belmont Stakes (2:24) – records that still stand today. He is considered to be one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of all time. In 1999, ESPN ranked Secretariat the 35th-best athlete of the 20th century, the highest-ranking racehorse on the list. He ranked second behind Man o’ Warin The Blood-Horse‘sList of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. He was also ranked second behind Man o’ War by a six-member panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. He was also ranked second behind Man o’ War by a Sports Illustrated panel of seven experts.
Few days ago, in another article I mentioned a dialogue I once had with a Retired Dacoit who asked whether ” I am selfish or Selfless person”. The Topic of Leading of Managing also begins here. To my mind, if we draw a diagram as below – we shall find the Leadership Talent in un-named intersecting portion of this Venn Diagram.
It is my belief that Leaders are Made.
“ Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.”

Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881)
British prime minister and writer

Leadership is different from management, but not for the reasons most people think. Leadership isn’t mystical and mysterious. It has nothing to do with having “charisma” or other exotic personality traits. It’s not the province of a chosen few. Nor is leadership necessarily better than management or a replacement for it.
The Difference Between Management and Leadership
Management is about coping with complexity. Its practices and procedures are largely a response to one of the most significant developments of the twentieth century: the emergence of large organizations. Without good management, complex enterprises tend to become chaotic in ways that threaten their very existence. Good management brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions like the quality and profitability of products.
What I find most interesting here is the Convergence Where the ‘LeadMan’ start taking over. This is perhaps the ‘Sweet Spot’.
Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change. Part of the reason it has become so important in recent years is that the business world has become more competitive and more volatile. Faster technological change, greater international competition, the deregulation of markets, overcapacity in capital-intensive industries, an unstable oil cartel, raiders with junk bonds, and the changing demographics of the work-force are among the many factors that have contributed to this shift. The net result is that doing what was done yesterday, or doing it 5% better, is no longer a formula for success. Major changes are more and more necessary to survive and compete effectively in this new environment. More change always demands more leadership.
As a Manager Learns – The Transition from Management to Leadership can happen when the following begins to happen.
It is interesting to see the comparison between Solid and Liquid and when Solid Ice transforms into Liquid Water or Vice-Versa interesting changes take place. So is with the Transition/ Transformation phase for ‘Made Leaders’ who transform from Management to Leadership thru a process called ‘Promoting from Within’ when the system throws a Leader – Most often a Younger Manager.
A Leader Fails when he says : “No One Listens To me”
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