Sunday, December 15, 2013

Leaders Born or Made?

The question of whether people are born with certain traits or learn certain traits has deep historic roots. It started with Aristotle, asking whether the mind was a tabula rosa, or blank slate, and whether we are all born with this tabula rosa or whether we have acquired these traits before we were born. The qualities and traits of leaders are exactly the same and the historic question of these traits being heritable or acquired is a question that still draws much debate in scholastic circles. But, when we look at who our leaders are today, the majority of them served as followers before they became leaders, slowly working themselves up into the leadership position that they are in today. These traits are acquired because if leaders were born, then learning about leadership traits and trying to become a leader is effectively worthless. If we are not born a leader than surely we will never become leader if we operate under the framework of leaders being born. Leaders have to first learn how they can lead before leading.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Personal Best

I have had the opportunity to lead in a variety of settings. Whether it be in my Boy Scout Troop, Church calling, or even at school. But the one area in which I have been able to shine as a leader is in the group of my online friends. We meet in a program called Team Speak, where we chat with one another. We all play the same video game and we have a rigid leadership structure. So whenever we play together, we know who to follow, who gives commands, and who we should listen to. In this specific game, it is very easy to get lost in the storm of voice that washes of the communication channels. Our outfit, however is one of the most organized outfit in the game. The generals in our outfit, including me, are able to navigate the other outfits high commands and successfully increase cooperation on the game. Being able to control a group of people in a combat centered video game is extremely difficult because the only communication we have is either the in game chat, or Team Speak. In the game, there are alerts where our faction has to scramble to capture areas, defend areas, and effectively use resources to defend from enemy vehicles and other online players. I have been the squad and platoon leader in many of these instances and I have had to control what vehicles we use, where to send our troops, and how to communicate with our friends. I have learned that a leader cannot be demanding, but gentle, that a leader has to effectively communicate his or her idea to make anything happen but perhaps most importantly is that a leader has to be personable.