The Article below was assigned to one of our 2023 summer interns, Rafaelia Socratous, and was written with the close supervision of our Team. Rafaelia is currently undergoing her third year at Warwick University, UK, where she is studying the degree of “BA in Film and Literature”. Ultimately, it has provided an opportunity for Rafaelia to enhance and outline her thoughts and inspirations regarding the very interesting subject of Leadership and Management, as she is herself currently in the process of applying for a master’s degree in Management. Our Company has gained insight from an informative, topical and at the same time academic piece of writing, circulating around a matter of differentiating between two of the most important qualities in modern business. It is certainly an enlightening piece of writing and a quick, pleasant read for everyone.

“Leadership”, the elusive quality that drives nations, inspires movements, and shapes destinies, has long been subject to debate. Is it an innate trait bestowed upon a select few at birth, or can it be cultivated through diligent effort and experience? The answer, it seems, lies in a delicate interplay between nature and nurture.

While some individuals appear to possess a natural aptitude for leadership from an early age, displaying charisma, decisiveness, and vision, it would be simplistic to conclude that leadership is solely a matter of genetics. Rather, it is a multifaceted attribute that can be honed and refined over time.

To become a good leader, one must cultivate those skills which will deem them capable of leading, influencing and positively impacting the people around them. That can of course be achieved through extensive work experience and training, since there really is no better educator than a real-life experience. For someone to become a leader, there is a diverse array of attributes they must possess, or work towards; some of those being effective communication, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, decisiveness and listening. The key is to be bold. To involve oneself in leadership positions whether that is within their own smaller domain, or larger projects and initiatives.

Of course, a person who does not rise up in the face of difficulty, can simply not call themselves a leader, as they have not deservedly acquired that title. Facing challenges, overcoming obstacles, and navigating uncertainty are integral components of the leadership journey. It is through these trials that individuals discover their resilience, adaptability, and capacity for innovation – qualities that are indispensable for guiding others through tumultuous times.

Nevertheless, although with nurture follows hard work, dedication and resilience, there are some human characteristics that one can only be born with. While dedication and perseverance are crucial, they alone do not guarantee leadership success. There are every now and then born leaders among us, individuals for whom influencing people, to a great extent, comes naturally and instinctively. Consider Messi and Ronaldo in the realm of football. The meteoric rise of both footballers to legend status was propelled by their innate passion and exceptional natural abilities on the pitch. Though both very different in style of play, the journey of both Messi and Ronaldo has been characterized by equally relentless dedication, discipline and hard work, which would ultimately compliment and elevate their pure, natural talents. These two constitute modern football’s finest examples of the synergy between natural talent and persistence. Both faced numerous obstacles and invested considerable effort to reach the pinnacles of success they enjoyed in recent years, inspiring their teammates to follow standards they have set, both at club as well as international level, year after year. Therefore, to be a Leader comprises of both remarkable drive as a perfect complement to innate talent, as in the case of Messi and Ronaldo.

The final section of this article wishes to address the subject of whether a good leader is actually by de facto a good manager and vice versa. Are the qualities of Leadership and Management similar? The answer is Yes, and No. Management is a combination of charisma and (mostly) the result of continuous training and hard work in specific fields and environments. As mentioned above, Leadership still requires the same combination, though in different dosages. Leadership is something more distinct, which brings with it a magical aura unique in every individual who possesses it. They are the only ones who can improve and work on it alone.

Interestingly, Forbes states that “it is important for leaders to grasp the importance of Management, and know how to supervise. But that doesn’t mean they need to do it themselves.” For example, whereas Facebook have a Leader in Mark Zuckerberg, they only achieved disciplined Management by hiring Sheryl Sandberg as their COO to organise the perfect chaos. It is true that a Leader can also be a decent Manager. Certainly, though, one shall not imply the other. Management through the ages appears to have always been more of a technocratic issue and one for which a lot can be taught about, through higher educational courses and degrees, qualifications and diplomas. Leadership, on the contrary, cannot always be structured or moulded.

The path to leadership is not predetermined, but forged through a combination of innate talents, acquired skills and, of course, personal development. For the one who wishes to become a great Manager, even more so the case. It is not by coincidence that great Leaders and Managers often work together to achieve breakthroughs in various fields of business, such as the case of Facebook (now Meta). A Leader who cannot (or does not have the time) to manage, should possess a deep understanding of their strengths and weaknesses in order to address this issue. Therefore, whether one is born with a natural inclination for leadership, or cultivates it through deliberate practice, the essence of leadership itself lies not in one’s origins, but in the willingness to embrace the challenges and responsibilities inherent in guiding others towards a shared vision of a better future.



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