October 11, 2013

Leadership: ‘Born With It’ Or ‘Train to Have’?

1. Time Management

This is the first entry I wrote on Warwick blog. I have been wanting to get it started since day one but I have this important job application going on (as I really like the company and would love to be a part of it after graduation) that I got distracted. Although I am an efficient worker, I am very poor at time management and very good at procrastination. As Paul emphasized again and again in class about the importance of time management, I realise that this would be the most challenging task for me this year, but I have promised myself that I would try my best to overcome it, so I am willing to give out 100% of my effort.

2. Leadership: ‘Born With It’ Or ‘Train to Have’?

While I was writing the self-evaluation part of my CV and I realised that I had mentioned ‘leadership’ several times and prided myself on being a good leader from the past experiences I had working with people in teams. When questioning myself what are the elements/qualities that helped me built up my leadership skills, I realised it is not only because of the experiences and training I gained from earlier years, but largely because of personality and characteristic I was born with, the way I grew up, the way my brain thinks and does things. I am no better than others with a softer and tender characteristic, but I believe the nature of oneself plays an important role in deciding what he will become/do as a career in the future, and that maybe something you cannot be trained.

A. Goals

Paul argued in class that if you want to become the president of the USA you can, you can become anyone you want to be if you try hard enough and search for varies methods that will lead you to your goals, but I have to argue that this may not be the case. When you set a goal, it also has to be realistic and actually suits you. For example, if you want to become a singer, for whatever reasons, but you have a horrible voice, then most likely, after hundreds and hundreds of training session, you still cannot. This is something you are born with physically. You cannot ask a person with mobility problem to be professional in football no matter how much he desires to play. People have their limitations, and there are things cannot be trained.

2. Efficiency

Furthermore, people tend to choose to do things that they are actually good at. This not only boosts their confidence, making them feel good about themselves and therefore feel happy spend time on it and to do more, but also provides higher efficiency for themselves and the society they live in, where ideally, people should be put to places that best fit them. So we can argue that struggling to do something that you are actually bad at as a life-long career may not be the wisest thing, there are other options opening.

C. The Case of Leadership

There is this Chinese old saying goes like this: even the forms of the great mountains and rivers can be changed and transformed through time, yet one’s nature, the real characteristic of oneself, is so hard, or maybe impossible to be changed. So to conclude, i think although some are born with certain talents, knowledge and skills, such as management skills and presentation skills can be improved to reach and give out the same level of performance if one with less talent really tries, yet there things you cannot train. This includes physical ability (such as singing, and sports etc.) and the true nature and characteristic of oneself. When coming to the arguement of what make good leadership, I believe it depends on:

a. The leader himself (includes IQ, EQ, personality, mindsets, charisma etc.), and

b. His management and leadership skills.

The second quality can be trained and improved. Therefore people who are born with such talents and those without CAN reach the same level of leadership performance standard if the later put into more efforts. Yet I also think that the first quality of leadership is something that CANNOT be trained, people are born with it and this is unchangeable, or at least it would not natural if they force to change away from their true selves.

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