The other day while working with a group of managers on succession planning and development, background stories emerged that hinted at the question: Are leaders born or made? Nature vs. nurture is a persistent debate regarding the source of leadership. Managers, academics, and consultants all have views about which contributes more to making good leaders — genes or experience. One study (Arvey et al, 2007) looked at twins and found that the split was 30% genetics and 70% experience. You don’t need to look too long before you find a study that concludes there is a different distribution. Most recent studies about the nature vs. nurture debate conclude that at least some degree of whatever they are studying (leadership, parenting, creativity, intelligence, etc.) is attributed to each nature and nurture. Ok, so let’s go with that and not worry about what percentage is which. We could agree that we need to work on both, get good people with good experience, treat them well, and allow them to continue to learn from experience. This is essentially the position the managers ended up with.