What is leadership? Is it learned, bestowed or innate? How do leaders come into existence? What is the cause behind a leader? Or who made leaders? These stuffs serve as a fundamental to explore the nature of leadership as well as leaders. For something to exist, something must exist as a cause. Whether leaders are made or born, always exist as an effect, not as a cause to themselves. For instance, I exist as an effect; I am not a cause to myself. I simply exist and welcome it. The wise courage to look back at my cause, will relief and help me understand the nature of who am I and where I came from. This concept may seem subtle and complex, but I would love to see the nature of leadership in this manner. In the world, we have leaders, yet we don't know them whether they are true or false leaders. We simply follow blindly without questioning the nature of true leadership. We don't have the culture of philosophizing. In the 21st century, it is a matter of imperative to question, discover and understand the nature of leadership for a betterment of humanity.
Under all conditions, bosses always expect us to be loyal and not to question authority. However, loyalty should be at the cost of understanding and willingness to follow. Without the discovery of the true leadership, humanity remains constant or unchanged. Bosses normally conceal the path of change, and emphasize immediate docility and submissiveness. In effect, subordinates follow foolishly and remain unrealized of huge body mass. Blind loyalty doesn't work and help anymore. It only destroys human potential and shatters the promising future of the coming generation. Hence, it is high time for everyone to understand the nature of leadership and discover the leader within.
Broadly speaking, there are two theories of leadership, acquired/learned leadership and innate leadership. These two theories stand from a different position and diametrically opposite to each other, never complement. Learned leadership theory adheres to the concept that leaders are made, not born. According to this theory, for someone to be a leader, he/she should acquire leadership skills through education, training and experience. On the other hand, innate leadership theory claims that leaders are born, not made. He or she was born with the talents, gifts, abilities and skills of leadership capacity. As of this theory, leaders were born totally equipped and fully loaded with the ingredients of leadership. For several years, these two theories have been undergoing a fierce philosophical debate among scholars, leaders and professionals. Regardless the heated philosophical debate, the world has been led for long time by the people who believe that leadership is learned. This happens because the world leadership is based up on a certain elite group, tribe or kings. It is a belief that planted into the human race as a total denial of leadership by commoners. Such belief denies the rest, and merely gives a privilege to certain elite groups, tribes and kings.
If leadership was learned, why the world failed to produce true leaders? Still the planet looks forward for genuine leaders-the leaders who can change, innovate and create. Only true leaders can bring dramatic change and speedy recovery from wounds of politics. But, where are the true leaders? Where do they hide? If leadership was learned, why schools, colleges and universities could not make it? Educational institutions consume a tremendous monetary asset to produce leaders; however, their effort seems futile and colossal failure.
I have a peculiar position on the subject of leadership. For a long time, I have been puzzled about the nature of leadership. I thought a lot, read enormous and asked also lot to find out the bottom-line of leadership and the truth about it. Eventually, along with the evidence of what history says about leadership, I have come to conclude that leaders are absolutely born, not made. However, for someone to be a leader, he/she should discover the inner treasures of leadership from the 'being'. This may seem hard to believe, but think about the nature of life pertinent to leadership; everyone, be it a human or a bird or an animal, wants to dominate and influence the rest. Naturally, we all want to influence and lead our environment. Even animals and birds in their own design exercise dominance more than human being does. In every community, whether it is a human community or an animal community, there is a leader or a boss. The desire to influence is not something that comes from an environment; it is an inbuilt potential somewhere within us. This tells us that we are all born leaders. There is nothing wrong to influence, but a problem arises when we start to influence without discovering the leader within.
Leadership comes to us naturally. Our very design is leadership. The leadership to inspire, motivate, utilize, change, innovate, develop, create and build, dwells within us. It is our birth certificate-the certificate that life offers to every one of us freely. Think as an individual, what roles and responsibilities do you have to accomplish? What service can you render to humanity? If you ponder about it, you have a lot to do, and lead individuals from death to life, from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light, from dictatorship to democracy, from lies to truth, from immoral to moral, from disease to health, from pessimism to optimism, from purposelessness to purposeful, from cry to laughter, from impossibilities to possibilities, from uncertainty to certainty, from fear to fearless, from sleepless night to serenity, from conflict to peace, from problems to solutions, from backwardness to prosperity, from finite to infinite, from yesterday to tomorrow, and many others. These are the inherent functions of leadership that every one of us can offer to humanity. You can offer it and I can too. Therefore, we have leadership talents. We don't learn leadership, for leadership emanates from the foundation of love. The service to humanity happens to be, not because of leadership itself, but because of the burning love within us.
Every one of us has an enormous potential to render a service. However, a problem lies ahead, because it is a tougher task to discover the talents and gifts from within. Most of us love to walk and think on the surface, but very few enjoy the inner journey of discovery. We have been conditioned to be outsiders rather than insiders. We are little bit shallow, and as a consequence our understanding remains at the surface. We walk on the surface, think shallow and love little. This is the dilemma to leadership discovery. Someone who remains shallow can never be a leader, even to himself.
Leadership is process of discovery. Hence, the leader has to be sought, discovered, cultivated and grown from within. For someone to grow a tree, he/she should provide the right environment or the set of conditions where the seed can germinate, grow and become a forest. No one can make a tree because the seed has already an inherent potential to grow and offer fruits. The planter or gardener only studies the nature of the seed and put into a condition where it can grow and produce fruits. The same story is true with leadership discovery. The seed is already within our 'being'. It is an inbuilt seed, but it should be studied, discovered and provided the right conditions for its manifestation. The seed of leadership greatness has been breathed into every one of us from the creator of the universe. Your birth is nothing, but the manifestation of new leader on the planet. The planet jubilates a lot for that matter.