SESSION 4: Leadership Webquest Discussion Forum

SESSION 4: Leadership Webquest Discussion Forum

A,M. Lockett

Colorado Christian University

Professor Deborah Burd

September 15, 2013

  Leadership Webquest Discussion Forum



All leaders are born; however, their birth does not define them as a leader.  However, what is implied in this question is whether or not leadership is an innate or acquired ability.  Do some people simply have a “natural” inclination to lead or are there other factors that inform their leadership skills and acumen?  Or to look at this question from another perspective, why do some people demonstrate leadership and others do not? To answer the first question, there has been extensive research in the literature on what constitutes a leader, how charisma emerges or become part of a person’s persona, and under what conditions and subject to what factors do leadership qualities develop, and finally, how does a person elicit the followship that defines them as a leader.

The second question relates more to the prompt in that it looks at person in the context of all others born and asks what the distinction between that person and others is and why leadership qualities are present in one person and absent in others.

Effective Leadership/Can Anyone Be A Leader? (Are They Born, Or Made?)  By Mick Ukleja

According to current research, about 30 percent of a person’s leadership ability is genetic, and the rest is learned – but not necessarily in school. Stem cells are waiting to be developed. Much of that which is learned comes through life experiences. The contributions of life cannot be overlooked. Challenges, hardships, work experiences, education, colleagues, direct and indirect role models and personal outlook contribute to our ability to lead.

Learning through doing is one of the greatest ways to lead. John Kotter’s research1 in this field suggests ways to take charge of your own leadership development.

Are Great Leaders Born or Made? by Alyssa Gregory

Some people believe that leaders are born with the necessary qualities that make them successful as a leader. While others believe that leadership, like many other similar characteristics, can be learned and developed through life. For me, I think much of the debate depends on how you define leadership.

Anyone Can Be a Leader

We all have areas of our lives where we have talent and propensity for success. If this is also an area you feel passionate about, you may exude qualities that are absent from other areas of your life. So while you may not be a natural born leader in the strictest sense, you can certainly overcome many obstacles and develop a desire and ability to lead when you are inspired to do so.



Any person born is available to be leader.  The opportunity or choice to be a leader does not speak to the “can” or ability to lead. So the question becomes does anyone have the ability or can acquire the ability to become a leader.

3 Signs You’re Meant to Be a Leader by Les McKeown

Reading leadership literature (including this column), you’d sometimes think that it was written in the stars that everyone has the potential to be an effective leader.

I don’t believe that to be true. In fact, I see way fewer truly effective leaders than I see people stuck in positions of leadership who are woefully incompetent at worst and seriously misguided about their own abilities at best.

Part of the reason this happens is a lack of honest self-assessment by those who aspire to leadership in the first place. And so, in the interest of increasing the quality of next-generation leadership, I give you this simple three-point self-assessment tool.

To paraphrase a certain comedian, “you might be a potential leader if…”

  • You lead only when you have to, not all the time.
  • You see much more than you do. 
  • You change people. They achieve outcomes.

A contrary point-of-view is that not everyone has the capabilities and opportunity are required to be a leader but does not address whether this is an innate “have” or an acquired “have”.

Can anyone be a leader? by Paul Roggenkamp

Can anyone be a leader? The answer is, “No.” Not everyone can be a leader, either because not everyone has the capabilities required to lead, or everyone does not have the opportunity to be in a leadership position…..even simpler, every team, organization or business needs followers for the leaders to lead. In fact, our world is comprised of more followers than leaders.



We are all in this together because we are alternately leaders and followers in this life, depending on our position in the decision-making or management or implementation process of any given activity.  Moreover, in our Father’s world, we are either aware of His control of His creation or not.  But, regardless of our understanding of God’s supreme authority and control, we are all in this together life together.

By Marjorie Pay Hinckley:

We are all in this together. We need each other. Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young, and hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old…We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.

We’re All In This Together Some further thoughts on our connectedness, particularly in the Spiritual Life:

The ontological unity of humanity is such that every separate individual overcoming evil in himself inflicts such a defeat on cosmic evil that its consequences have a beneficial effect on the destinies of the whole world. On the other hand, the nature of cosmic evil is such that, vanquished in certain human hypostases [persons] it suffers a defeat the significance and extent of which are quite disproportionate to the number of individuals concerned. A single saint is an extraordinarily precious phenomenon for all mankind. By the mere fact of their existence – unknown, maybe, to the world but known to God – the saints draw down on the the world, on all humanity, a great benediction from God.



A leader has a defined goal(s) or objectives(s) in support of a vision and sets the course to accomplish those goal(s) or objective(s) based on the leader’s philosophy or principles on how to best fulfill that vision.  A manager is responsible for ensuring the efficient and timely execution of the directives and/or implementation of the policies and procedures to accomplish the leaders goals or objectives. A follower, manager, and leader are those who alternately collaborate with the implementation and execution of the goals and objectives of the leader through personal leadership, who alternately collaborate with the management of the efficient and timely execution of policies and procedures related to goal and objective implementation and execution through personal management, and who collaborate with and influences others to do the same.  

The Moderating Role of Follower Identification in the Relationship Between Leader and Follower by Kelly Rouse

The findings from this cross-sectional study on 27 corporate employees reveal relationships between leader and follower leadership behaviors and follower identity with the leader. A positive relationship was found between the leaders’ follower-centered leadership and followers’ follower-centered leadership, and the leaders’ capable manager leadership and followers’ capable manager leadership. Furthermore, correlations reveal that identification with the leader is positively related to the leaders’ self-confidence leadership, leaders’ follower-centered leadership, and leaders’ capable manager leadership. The results did not support the hypothesized role of follower identification with the leader as a moderator between leader self-confident leadership, follower-centered leadership, and capable manager leadership, and the followers’ leadership behaviors in the same domains. Visionary leadership and follower identification in research and practice are discussed.

The Difference Between a Leader and a Manager by Ron Alvesteffer

Recently, on Twitter, I got into a disagreement with someone on the difference between the role of a manager and the role of a leader.  Those who know me, know that I love disagreement.  Agreeable disagreement causes us to examine our beliefs and it challenges us to make sure that we’re practicing what we preach. I believe that there are very distinct differences between the role of a manager and the role of a leader.  But the roles should not be in conflict with each other.  Sustainable, high-performance organizations recognize that there is a symbiotic relationship between managers and leaders and they ensure that both are being utilized effectively.

I believe that we manage things (processes, procedures and outcomes) and we lead people (employees, customers and others).

I believe that we manage things (processes, procedures and outcomes) and we lead people (employees, customers and others).  Here are examples of differences that I’ve identified (I’d love to hear yours in the comment section below): A manager focuses on process and procedure, a leader focuses on people. A manager administrates.  A leader envisions. A manager maintains.  A leader develops. A manager measures projections.  A leader projects measures. A manager ensures that things are done right.  A leader ensures that the right things are being done. A manager ensures that rules are followed (such as laws, regulations and policy).  A leader empowers and inspires innovation. A manager deals in detail.  A leader in possibility. A manager magnifies corporate policies, processes and procedures.  A leader magnifies the person, their capabilities and their purpose. A manager deals in the probable.  A leader deals in the possible. Managers are, by design, implementers of rules, organizers of details, and they ensure compliance.  Leaders are challengers of rules, casters of vision and they define purpose.

Followers look to managers for tasks, they look to leaders for purpose.

Followers look to managers for tasks, they look to leaders for purpose.  Followers look to leaders for a vision of their destination, they look to managers for the road map that tells them how to get there.  The most effective leaders employ managers who know how to build the best road map. While it may seem that the manager and the leader cannot coexist with one another, it is imperative that they do. Today, organizational cultures seem in constant flux between authoritarian environments (led by managers), and laissez faire environments (managed by leaders).  Both cultures are unbalanced, destructive and are unsustainable. Zig Ziglar wrote that “the leader and the manager must communicate effectively and regularly so all the people understand the support each supplies to the other.” Sustainable high-performance cultures are purpose-drivenLeaders lead and managers manage.  Both are in agreement and are bound by a common (often written) corporate code.  Their symbiotic relationship serves employees and organizations, well.


  • What does the general public think of as “a leader”?

The general public, if I can speak for the general public, seems to regard leaders as those who are ­­­­renowned, powerful, and/or influential and most commonly are viewed as those operating in a political or civic context. Less commonly recognized are leaders of industry, fashion and entertainment leaders, educational leaders, social group leaders, Christian leaders, etc.

America’s Best Leaders – US News and World Report:

NASA scientist Robert Gates Secretary of Defense Pentagon chief looks for uses of “soft power” in a hard power world. Fiona Harrison & Maria Zuber NASA scientists The first two women to head their own NASA robotic space missions. Freeman Hrabowski University of Maryland-Baltimore County He helped turn a no-name commuter college into a center for math and science. Amory Lovins Rocky Mountain Institute For this bright light in the field of alternative energy, it’s all about efficiency. Anne Mulcahy Xerox In reforming a troubled company, she had the courage to say “No” to Wall Street. Indra Nooyi PepsiCo Karaoke-singing chief executive is taking Pepsi in an unlikely direction–toward healthful foods. Linda Rottenberg Endeavor Her nonprofit seeks to build profitable small businesses on a global scale. Jeffrey Sachs United Nations Millennium Project An academic who looks for real-world ways to beat global poverty. Steven Spielberg Filmmaker He addresses important issues on the big screen and through his philanthropy. Michael Tilson Thomas San Francisco Symphony A maverick maestro is winning big crowds of new classical music fans. U.S. Junior Officers Military They are rising in the military ranks with a hard-earned wisdom forged by war.

A New Leadership Style for America by Joseph S. Nye Jr.

It’s time to retire the “big man,” heroic warrior model of leadership. Famous Leaders Never Miss Any Updates or Resources! Famous have some special characteristics which separate them from the crowd. They possess something which captivates people around them and allows for such a great influence that thousands, if not millions of people around the world. We will give you some examples of these special leaders at the bottom of this page, they may not be the most obvious people but if you come on the journey with us you’ll see why they have these special characteristics and are such good examples. What really defines a great leader? We’re really explored leadership on our site and if you’d like to know more then read our leadership definition hub which goes into more detail. Great leaders usually have some of the following characteristics…They will/have left a legacy beyond themselves and their lives. Their words are remembered, quoted and still continue to be relevant and cutting edge for generations. They are spoken of and talked about with admiration, sometimes jealousy and their fame which travels greatly. Of course these characteristics could be said of many people who have influenced others and have left some sort of legacy. The point we’re trying to make here is that a famous leader doesn’t have to just be Winston Churchill types but can also be grandpa Joe who was a complete legend. “There is always room for a man of force and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers and the best heads among them take the best places.” Ralph Waldo Emerson These leaders have a great diversity and although we probably won’t be creating biographies of grandpa Joe, we have some really interesting leaders in mind to characterize. We would also love some suggestions or even contributions from our valued visitors! If you’d like to contribute then please contact us through our contact form, but if you’d just like to suggest someone who has had a great impact on your life then use the commenting facility at the bottom of this page. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. “Martin Luther King, Jr.


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