Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
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14 Jan 2012, 06:56
"Since key personal traits that make a good leader are formed during one’s childhood and youth, formal training can only refine rather than cultivate true leaders.”
Explain what you think this quotation means and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with it. Develop your position with reasons and/or specific examples drawn from history, current events, or your own experience, observations, or reading.
I agree to some extent with the argument that there are key personal traits that make a good leader, but I don't agree that these key personal traits are developed only during one's childhood and youth. Research shows that there are certain key personal traits that make a good leader. However, research has not confirmed that there are only a set of traits that make a good leader. The making of a leader happens with the various situations the person faces, and how he responds to the situation.
Different situations in life bring out different traits in a person. So, leaders are different in their ways of leadership and their ways of becoming a leader. A person may not be a leader in all types of situations in life and all types of roles he plays in life. So, there are no standard personal traits that make a good leader.
Secondly, let us explore if the personal traits are majorly developed during childhood and youth. As mentioned, I believe different situations bring out different traits in a person. This may happen at any point in one's life. Various examples in history show us that people who didn't show any leadership traits in their early years suddenly rise to a situation and lead the situation. It is more about the passion, empathy and the belief you have towards the situation. I don't quite agree that the traits are cultivated only in one's childhood. There are exceptional leaders who didn't show any leadership traits in childhood.
The last argument is whether leadership can be cultivated through formal training. As mentioned there are different styles of leadership. Through my experience, I agree that it is very difficult to cultivate certain forms of leadership through formal training. But, most forms of leadership can be cultivate with formal training.