9 Aug 2022


Leadership and Group Behavior

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Academic level: College

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Words: 739

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Children come into this world without blemish. With no knowledge whatsoever, nor with a sense of direction. From that tender age, they begin learning what is right from what is wrong. Likewise, leaders are never born. Leaders are shaped by whatever circumstances and hardships they go through. They hold fast to certain behaviors and characters that make them who they are. Leaders, in Vince Lombardi’s opinion, are made and not born (McGinnis, 2003). He further opines that they are made out of their own hard work and constant efforts, which also is the price that the rest of us always have to pay in order to attain any of our goals. The hallmark of a true leader is not based on his background or where he was born. Rather, a leader is made by the circumstances of his time, and by the path that he chooses to take in the midst of those circumstances.

An important part in the making of any leader is mentorship. There is no great leader who never had a mentor. Isaac Newton, a great physicist, metaphorically imagined it as standing on the shoulders of giants in order to be able to see far. Mentors act as a compass. They give direction on what a leader is supposed to do and not supposed to do. Mentors help leaders avert certain traps in the course of their life and also support them during their toughest periods. Henry David Thoreau was one of the many leaders of his time who benefited greatly from his mentor, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau stayed with Emerson at his where he acted as Emerson’s caretaker. According to Cheever (2007) “Emerson made use of his influence to uphold Thoreau’s literary works and even gave him access to the lands that would motivate one of his greatest works-Walden Pond”. Mentorship for leaders is essential, and my ideal opinion of a good leader points me to a person who goes out of his/her way in pursuit of knowledge, through mentorship.

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Leaders are meant to guide a group of people towards a certain goal. Great leaders are regularly intellectuals in their areas and are often smart. In order to guide others, they must be the best in that particular skill. People will never follow an incompetent leader. Leaders are therefore supposed to lead by example. Potential leaders need to know and develop the character of not just leading from the front but also leading from behind. For example, if you want your team to develop the best software possible, then the leader must first be able to develop software.

Apart from leading by example, leaders have to be self-confident, assertive and have self-respect. Great leaders face risks but only in a calculated manner. They are also inventive and assertive in decisions they make. Preparation is an important key to self-confidence. When preparedness meets opportunity then a great leader is made. Great leaders are also assertive and have a sense of self-respect and self-actualization. They do not conform to norms and therefore are not timid. These traits are important as they trickle down to members of his team and make it easier to guide a group of people.

Leadership is a tough responsibility. Most times, leaders have to have remarkable endurance in order to be able to lead efficiently. It has been seen through time that perseverance always wins through. From the Bible Stories to great travelers like Christopher Columbus to civil rights activists like Dr. Martin Luther King to brave scientists like Albert Einstein, all had one thing in common. They all had to endure some form of failure, regret, and pain. They had to sacrifice and be committed relentlessly. Made leaders also need to learn to have remarkable perseverance. However, developing perseverance takes a lot of time and needs a lot of work to accomplish. Courage to be able to achieve this is also beneficial for anyone trying to become a great leader.

Leaders are also master communicators. They do not just act but ensure actions match words. They are able to listen to their team’s members individually and maintain an open mind. Good communication is important in building trust and openness towards the people they lead and creates motivation in the people being led. Charles Schwab says,“ I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement” (McGinnis, 2003) . Leaders, therefore, need to develop good communication and motivation skills to build trust and mutual respect between themselves and others.

In conclusion, great leaders are the fruits of a multifactorial process involving ups and downs. Each character they possess grows from the challenges they face and the battles they win. Leaders are therefore not born they are carefully crafted and created into who they are by the circumstances they face.


Cheever, S. (2007).    American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, their Work . Simon and Schuster. 

McGinnis, A. L. (2003). The Friendship Factor. New York: Augsburg Books.

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