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Leaders Are Created By The Demands That Are Placed On Them.



Prompt:

Leaders are created by the demands that are placed on them.

Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.



In order to analyze the statement, it would be helpful to give a definition to the term leader. In my opinion, a leader is a person in power knowing how to set a wise strategy as well as to motivate a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Therefore, according to this definition, there exist three compulsory elements to create a leader. A leader needs to possess internal qualities such as a capacity to insightfully understand the situation, to draw a reasonable strategy and to influence others. A leader is created in a suitable system which allows the right person to rise and to succeed. A leader, at the end, needs external demands placed on their shoulders so that they could set a goal to fulfill those demands.



The existence of external demands placed on a suitable person is a necessary condition to turn this suitable person into a leader. Otherwise those potential leaders will not have a platform to demonstrate their leadership. Leaders are people who guide others to achieve a common goal. Without an external demand, there will be no way for our potential leaders could set such goal. However, when the time comes, the right person with right qualities would have his or her lifetime chance to rise up to be the leader to fulfill the task. Imagine that if there had been no Germany invasion into the Russia during the Second World War, the General Zhukov might never have had a platform to demonstrate his military talents. Since he had a rather bad relation with Stalin, he might have died in a camp with nobody knew, rather than had directed hundreds of thousands of Russian army to the Berlin. Bill Gates is an IT genius. He might also have many insightful ideas on how computers and operation system could change our lives. However, if he did not live in an era, when the Third Industry Revolution, the information revolution, calls for a user-friendly as well as powerful operation system to be installed on prevalent personal computers, he would be a programmer in the army rather than be a leader in IT industry. Those talented and prepared people need a platform, which is the demands of an era , to realize themselves.



However, it is worth noticing that the existence of demands is only one element to create a leader. To be a leader, people need to possess other internal qualities. Those qualities involve the ability to insightfully understand the situation, to decide a wise strategy, to be perseverant in case of temporary setbacks and so on. In many cases is a decision maker. He might have several consultants who propose him different solutions. However, it is the leader who makes the decision. The capacity to understand the situation and to make a wise strategy would be crucial to realize the final success. Moreover, the road to success is never straightforward. A leader needs to be perseverant and insist during the temporary setbacks. Back to the example of General Zhukov, at the beginning of the war, General Zhukov several times had different opinion about the military strategies from those of Stalin. Stalin, who was very angry, even sent Zhukov to backup troops. However, the Germany army’s movements corresponded almost exactly to the prediction of the General and Soviet army paid a high price for the misjudgment form Stalin. Stalin finally realized the correctness of Zhukov’s advices and put him on the post to direct armies. If Zhukov had not demonstrated his insightful understanding of the situation and wise prediction of opponents’ movement, he would not have been recognized by Stalin. If Zhukov had not been perseverant enough, he might have left troops when he was punished by Stalin.



Besides the external demands and internal qualities, to create a leader, we need also a society which allows those potential leaders to rise and to succeed. If a society only values one person according to his or her origins, rather than his or her talents, many leaders from disadvantaged origins will never have a chance. In a society which is replete with cronyism, an apt candidate out of cycle will never have his chance either. Consider Napoleon, son of a peasant in the most remote island of France. If he had lived in the era before the great revolution which created to some extent the society mobility, he might never have chances to rise. Another example involves a comparison between China and Japan in 19th century. Both countries faced threats from the other advanced occidental powers. In both countries, there were intelligent and insightful people who could be the potential leaders to lead the reform. In Japan, due to the reform launched by their emperor which liberated the social mobility, a large number of leaders in all area led Japan to modernize. In contrast, in China, the whole outdated bureaucratic selection system eliminated all potential leaders before they even had a real chance.



To sum up, a leader in fact is created by three things which are external demands, internal qualities as well as a suitable system. Although we can say that leaders come to meet the demands placed on them, it is not correct to say demands put on their shoulders created those leaders.


Submitted by: qcao
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