The first scientific investigations of leadership, performed in the 1930s, were interested with naming several individual psychological qualities that may differentiate leaders from non-leaders. Eventually, this became widely recognized as ‘The Great Man’ leadership theory (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson 2008).
They also determined that the qualities they had classified seemed to vary randomly, differed from leader to leader, and merely became evident after individuals had attained leadership positions (Kouzes & Posner 2007). This was a normal outcome of the reality that they may only examine leaders after the incident, when they had become leaders themselves. Additional research suggested that the relationship between leadership and particular leadership attributes is insignificant, comprising only roughly 10 per cent of the aspects that determine whether an individual was a leader or not (Kouzes & Posner 2007). Unexpectedly, further research has failed to resolve conclusively the issue ‘Are leaders born or made?’ and this lingers a subject of intense debate among scholars. In terms of this ongoing debate between nurture and nature, this essay will try to answer this lingering issue of leadership by drawing on concepts of human motivation and various leadership approaches. However, as Gardner (1990) argued: “Many dismiss the subject with the confident assertion that ‘leaders are born not made.’ Nonsense! Most of what leaders have that enables them to lead is learned. Leadership is not a mysterious activity… And the capacity to perform those tasks is widely distributed in the population” (p. xv).
Stogdill (1974) emphasized that “there are almost as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concept” (p. 259). This essay does not aim to add still another definition. However, there are fundamental defining components of leadership in