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Are National Leaders Born or Made?
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
2006

 

 

During my MBA program at Kent State University, we were asked by our leadership professor whether we believed our national leaders were born or made.  Some students, particularly from the ancient civilizations, reasoned that leaders were born.  They claimed that in their countries, they had a thing called the ruling class that had total access to the wealth and resources of the land.  In these societies, these classes always had access to power.  If their member was not in power, they placed an “outsider”, who was the puppet or supposed to be the puppet of the ruling class or family.  A student even claimed that a leader was chosen from heaven before he/she was born on earth.  The belief in these places is that the eldest son or first child should be crowned the ruler or successor.  This is true for many of the royal families in Africa, Europe, and Asia even till this day.  In this case, the next leader is known to everyone the instant he or she enters the world.  Is this a good way to choose a leader?

 

Many of the Europeans and American students of the class, including the professor, did not only feel that choosing a leader based on birth was an inappropriate way, they also felt that a leader should be made.  They reasoned that a person should grow into becoming a leader that best represents the ideals of the society and that the society should elect this leader democratically.    This modern idea of allowing the masses to choose their leader sound very appealing.  It does not only remove the boredom of knowing who will always have the upper hand, but it also gives us an opportunity to have a change of leadership and gives us a feeling of empowerment.  But in all reality, are these two arguments really that different? 

 

 

 

To be born into a class, aside from just birth, can also mean to be connected.  To become the real leader or the puppet leader, you could be connected to this class by marriage, by organizational membership, or by buying your way through hard work or financial inheritance.  Despite all of these means of connections, in some places, you need to also belong to the right race, gender, and/or religion for the necessary connection to even materialize.  When President George W. Bush was running for office in 2000, some of my American friends predicted that he would win because of his father’s connections and their family’s wealth.  We all know that America prides itself as the leader of the modern, free, and democratic societies, but its citizens basically predicted ahead of time that President Bush’s victory as a leader was going to be based on family and inherited connection. Many in favor of leaders being made would easily argue that there must have being other Presidents in civilized places that were literarily pick off the gutters and were placed in highest places without a revolution of some sort. 

 

For the sake of not being called archaic or old fashioned, I will pretend to agree that maybe sometimes a complete Mr. Nobody actually becomes the national leader in a modern society.   Before I impress you completely, I would like to know if that Mr. Nobody is related to the Bushes or the Queen of England by marriage.  I also would like to know where his wealth came from.  Even if he was a hard working businessman, who where his business associates?  If he was actually a man from the gutters or a son of slaves, are you sure he has not sold his soul to the devil to belong to some secret organization in an exchange to maintain a certain order as a puppet?  Does an unemployed Mr. Nobody, who happens to be a PhD holder, get elected to office because he is smart?  When last did you see the owner of a successful coffee shop get elected to office? Don’t they have to join a political party?  Maybe, after joining the political party, the most intelligent or the most hardworking gets to represent the party, even when he is forced to believe everything the party stands for. 

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I do believe that leaders are neither born nor made in the modern society, but that they are chosen.  They appear to be chosen democratically by the masses, but in reality, the choices of the masses are restricted to the dictation of a powerful few from which the chosen leader from a restricted pool is related to the powerful few.  The relation could be by birth or by connection.  Looking at it from the stage where the masses vote, it appears that a leader was elected or made based on his qualities, but looking at it from the stage of how the leadership pool to be elected from was created, the leader was born or connected.  Since not everyone can be connected to the ruling class even if they chose to, then leaders are almost never made, but are chosen from the blood line of the ruling class or the puppets representing their interests.
 

To attain true leadership that is made in any society, there must be continuous power rotation among its citizens within short intervals without regards to races, ethnicity, gender, religion, or political affiliations.  Also, the next leader must not be connected to the previous one whatsoever, but must improve upon or modify what has been done for the betterment of the entire society.  In this way, each and every citizen is genuinely empowered, every voice has a chance of being heard, and no one feels disfranchised.