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TOEFL Independent Writing
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Leadership comes naturally; one cannot learn to be a leader.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
When considering whether leaders are born or made, many believe that leadership is the result of a person’s charisma. Leaders throughout history have each had a unique personality that not everyone can really learn. Since leadership is a matter of charisma, then all the training probably cannot turn a follower into a leader, nor can it turn an ordinary leader into an extraordinary leader.
Can leadership be trained like any other thing, and to what extent? While it is often suggested that leadership, being a set of skills, can actually be leaned, there will always be certain people for whom those skills come more easily. For example, mathematics skills come easily to certain individuals, but language skills come easily to others. All people, within limits, can be taught to learn more mathematics and language skills; nevertheless, those who are weak in mathematics or language will always struggle more with the subject. The same holds true for leaders who are born with built-in personality known as charisma. In the same way, as other people are born with amazing musical gifts or athletic talents, so they will excel naturally in these areas, just as a charismatic personality will excel in leadership.
Accordingly, great leadership is about being charismatic, something mysterious that people are born with, rather than something obvious that they decide to do. Such an extraordinary power to inspire popular hope, enthusiasm and devotion is rare; so are great leaders. Generally, charisma is inherent and invisible, but mysteriously its effects are visible and influential. Without this “gift of grace” in the beginning, it is hardly possible for anyone to become better suited to leadership at the end. In this regard, to suggest that leaders do not enter the world with extraordinary endowment is to imply that people enter the world with equal abilities, with equal talents, or with equal charismatic traits. For these reasons, not everyone can be a great leader, neither can anyone become a great musician or a great athlete.
In conclusion, the secret of great leadership does not so much lie in training as in charisma that tells a follower from a leader, and a common leader from an uncommon leader. As can be realized, charisma, being a natural personality, cannot be learned successfully. More often than not, leadership comes naturally.