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One of the great debates in the natural sciences is that of "nature" and
"nurture"; in other words, are animals and plants the way they are
because they are genetically made that way, or are they shaped by
their environments? This debate is carried on in the social sciences,
such as politics, and it is especially applied to the subject of leadership.
The question is asked, when we look at the lives of the great leaders
throughout history, were they born to be great, or was it their
experiences that made them so? To be honest, I cannot see any
reason to hold such a debate: it seems obvious to me that it is a
combination of the two.




                   Axel Anderson, Historical Patterns, Simpleton Press,
                   Dundee, 1975. p. 40
Main ideas

  One of the great debates in the natural sciences is that of "nature" and
  "nurture"; in other words, are animals and plants the way they are because
  they are genetically made that way, or are they shaped by their
  environments? This debate is carried on in the social sciences, such as
  politics, and it is especially applied to the subject of leadership. The
  question is asked, when we look at the lives of the great leaders throughout
  history, were they born to be great, or was it their experiences that made
  them so? To be honest, I cannot see any reason to hold such a debate: it
  seems obvious to me that it is a combination of the two.

 Summary

 Anderson (1975) takes a purely historical perspective and sums up
 the argument over nature and nurture by stating that “it is a
 combination of the two” (p. 40).
   Paragraph 2
At this stage in our discussion, it becomes necessary to address the
whole nature/nurture question. On this matter, I find myself attracted to
the nature side of the matter. When we look at most of the major
political and military leaders of the last 3000 years or so, we find that
they come from long lines of leaders-Alexander the Great was the
descendent of great kings, and the strength of Rome was founded on
the strength of the Imperial Family; the strong genes of the leaders
were the main factor in their greatness.




            Eric Churchill, Heredity, Eagle Publishing, London, 1984. p. 20
  Main ideas



 At this stage in our discussion, it becomes necessary to address the whole
 nature/nurture question. On this matter, I find myself attracted to the nature
 side of the matter. When we look at most of the major political and military
 leaders of the last 3000 years or so, we find that they come from long lines
 of leaders - Alexander the Great was the descendent of great kings, and
 the strength of Rome was founded on the strength of the Imperial Family;
 the strong genes of the leaders were the main factor in their greatness.



  Summary

As Churchill (1984) in his book on genes points out head political and
military figures of the last three millennia tended to come from a family
of leaders. Thus, he concludes that their genes were the key to their
success
Paragraph 3

 I refuse to believe that great leaders are born rather than made. In
 ancient societies, of course the leaders came from the same family,
 since that is how society was structured; but if we look at the great
 leaders of modern times, such as Napoleon or Hitler, we see that
 they came from ordinary backgrounds and that it was the events of
 their lives that made them into great men. Hitler, for example, was a
 vegetarian and a painter, a sensitive man, but the pattern of life in
 early twentieth century Germany led him to become a politician and
 later a dictator. His genes had little or nothing to do with it.




      James Elton, The Making of Men, Leitz Publications, Brighton, 1999. p. 35
 Main ideas


I refuse to believe that great leaders are born rather than made. In
ancient societies, of course the leaders came from the same family,
since that is how society was structured; but if we look at the great
leaders of modern times, such as Napoleon or Hitler, we see that
they came from ordinary backgrounds and that it was the events of
their lives that made them into great men. Hitler, for example, was a
vegetarian and a painter, a sensitive man, but the pattern of life in
early twentieth century Germany led him to become a politician and
later a dictator. His genes had little or nothing to do with it.

Summary

Elton (1999), looks at things from a purely nurture standpoint and
states that in ancient societies the reason for leaders coming from the
same family was simply social hierarchy. He advances his argument
with reference to modern successful leaders who came from ordinary
families. He claims that it was not their genes that made them great, but
the “pattern of life” (p. 20).
Synthesizing ideas together


 When considering whether leaders are born or made, certain factors
 emerge. As Churchill (1984) in his book on genes points out head
 political and military figures of the last three millennia tended to come
 from a family of leaders. Thus, he concludes that their genes were the
 key to their success. Elton (1999), on the other hand, looks at things
 from a purely nurture standpoint and refutes the influence of genes by
 stating that in ancient societies the reason for leaders coming from the
 same family was simply social hierarchy. He advances his argument
 with reference to modern successful leaders who came from ordinary
 families. He claims that it was not their genes that made them great,
 but the “pattern of life” (p. 20). Although both of the above arguments
 are valid, they may not be the most impartial as both have their own
 reasons for their claims. Anderson (1975) is perhaps more objective in
 his ideas as he takes a purely historical perspective and seems to sum
 up the argument by stating that “it is a combination of the two” (p. 40).

				
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