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Can Leadership be Taught?

Merwais Mayar

Leadership is hard to define, but often referred to. After all, who doesn’t want to think of themselves as a leader? But is leadership something that’s inherent to someone’s personality? Or can it be taught?

Recently, leadership has become one of the key subjects in business school curriculum and an essential topic for scholars and researchers. There has also been a rapid growth of undergraduate, postgraduate and executive management programs all over the world that provide leadership training to improve leadership skills.

The evidence is there: those who believe that leadership cannot be taught clearly ignore the value that education, training and experience have on one’s ability to become a leader. Leaders that are born with certain leadership qualities may not necessarily develop or utilise all these qualities, depending on their circumstances. They may not become leaders unless they seek leadership education and training.

Due to the rapid development of economy and technology in recent years, leaders and managers also need to constantly develop their leadership skills through learning and education. It seems that everyone has the potential to be a good leader. However, some people may find it easier to further develop their leadership potential and become great leaders in the future. This is only possible when they obtain good leadership skills through continual process of self-development, education, training and experience.

Additionally, leadership has been the focus of academics and researchers for many decades, and is recognised as a legitimate discipline. There were almost 14,139 books of leadership available for sale on Amazon.co.uk in 2003 and the number exceeded to 53,121 in 2009. This indicates that even more leadership books are available than there are people to read them.

There is overwhelming evidence that leadership can be taught, rather than it being the result of genetic traits. But the conclusion I’ve come to is that a true leader needs to work hard on developing their leadership skills, whether or not it comes naturally to them.

At AREA3, we strongly believe in advancing all staff to not only become great leaders one day, but also allowing them to grow within the environment that best suits their needs. Not everyone strives to be a leader, however, good leaders understand that they also need good people supporting them.

Merwais Mayar