Magazine article Ivey Business Journal Online

From the Dean: Are Leaders Born or Made?

Magazine article Ivey Business Journal Online

From the Dean: Are Leaders Born or Made?

Article excerpt

It's a debate as timeless as the age-old controversy about the chicken and the egg. Do effective leaders learn to become superior communicators and relationship builders? Or do people with exemplary communication and teamwork abilities naturally have an aptitude for leadership?

Recently, the Wall Street Journal's online edition, citing the need for - and lack of - these leadership qualities in business, asked its readers if business schools should "put more focus on communications and interpersonal training within their programs, or should the programs require a greater degree of proficiency in these skills in the students they admit?" Inevitably, the discussion revolved around the question of whether communication and relationship skills are inherent or learned.

One reader contended that a person not already inclined to communicate openly could never really acquire the skill. Another claimed that by focusing on team projects and class discussions, business schools clearly provide this valuable training. But most agreed that business schools should both look for students with superior communications and relationship abilities and then show them how to refine their abilities. At Ivey, that is certainly the case, as it should be.

As Ivey Professor Gerard H. Seijts illustrates in his compelling article about the behaviours of effective leaders, communications and interpersonal skills are absolutely critical, especially when a crisis erupts or when leaders "have to navigate the rough seas of organizational change. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.