Are there born leaders?

Are there born leaders?

The question “Are there any born leaders?” is often discussed and opinions are divided. Some believe that a person is born as a leader, with innate characteristics that he will show later. Others think that leadership can be learned, through life and business demands. There is also a belief that both are necessary.

Through professional work with many companies throughout the region, I have come across the fact that almost every one of them has a problem with the lack of real leaders.

For that reason, questions are asked:

  1. If leaders are born, why aren’t enough of them born?
  2. If leaders are created, where have we failed in education and business systems?


Leadership is a process of creation

Before we present our views and beliefs based on personal experience, let’s see what famous names that have left their mark on the recent history of human resource development said:

Peter F. Drucker: “Born leaders may exist, but there are so few of them that they make no difference in the general order of things.”

Brian Tracy: “Leadership is the ability to get outstanding results from ordinary people. Leaders are created by the leadership situation they face.”

Jim Rohn: “If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, you need to become a quality person first.”

 John C. Maxwell: “To achieve the highest level of leadership, you must constantly develop character traits in order for them to manifest in practice.”

Simon Sinek: “Leadership is most similar to parenting, because you love your children, but you don’t like them every day. When building a team of completely different people, you need to work every day to build love for them and their love for yourself.”

If we look just at these five quotes, we will understand that leadership is still a process, a process of creation.


Born to be formed

Innate characteristics are mostly reflected in temperament. There is one great Swiss method Structogram, which deals with precisely those innate, biological characteristics of the human brain with which we were born.

It reveals in a simple and fun way who has a more natural predisposition to be a leader, that is, a natural urge to stand out and attract others.

The human brain, as we usually like to point out, has hardware, an operating system, and software.

Hardware (physical part) are three brains that form one whole (brain stem, limbic brain and neocortex).

Operating system is the code we received from nature at birth, it defines what will be the individual influence of these three brains on our natural temperament.

Software installs the environment in which we grow, study and work.

Software forms self-perception, which is a set of all truths and beliefs about ourselves and others that we have accepted as our truth during our lives.

No matter what kind of hardware is assigned to us, the formation of software has a huge impact on us, because there are many other people’s truths that we have accepted as our own during our lives.

I often like to ask training participants “is there anyone in this room who chose a name for himself/herself?”

Almost everyone smiles at this question and then they say – “nobody”. So, someone else wanted me to be called Darko, but all my life I’ve introduced myself by saying, “I’m Darko,” not “They gave me the name Darko.” That is how we accepted our nationality, religion, we accepted what is fair and what is not, what is cultural and what is not, what is allowed and what is not… etc.  



The fact that the average child by the age of eighteen hears the word no more than 150,000 times, that is, you must not or that is not well enough. If punishments are added to all this, a large number of children at an early age develop the concept of thinking that it is better to do what and how they are told, because that way they avoid the possibility of being punished, and thus hurt.

A similar course continues through education where we learn and do many things the way pedagogues tell us to do, and our grades depend on whether we meet their criteria. For every homework that was reviewed, they immediately pointed out errors to us with a red pencil. If our notebook had a lot of red warnings, there would certainly come a grade that would not make our parents very happy.

The formation continues through the advice of parents who tell their children how they should finish school and find a good, secure job with a fixed salary. Someone else should guarantee us that at the end of the month, on a certain day, we will receive the income our existence depends on, and we will in turn perform the tasks required of us.

Therefore, there are many people who are born with the predispositions of a leader, but the environment programmed them that it is “safer” to be followers.

Hardware and software together form our thoughts. Thoughts form our words and activities.

Our thoughts, words and activities form our results, i.e. the results are only a consequence of the previous three processes.  

The biggest challenges in companies are in the fact that the pressure is most often on the results, while work with people is mostly done in the relation from activities to results.

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