Whale Rider

Thursday, Jan 29, 2009


Born a leader or learn to be a leader?

After our discussion the first night of class and watching Whale Rider, I pondered the question again on whether you are born a leader or if you learn how to be a leader.

It seemed that what I saw on Whale Rider and particularly in Pai, is that many of our great leaders hold characteristics within them that can qualify them as being "born leaders.� There are people out there who could be great leaders and don’t take advantage of the qualities they may possess or are not aware of it, but those who do are the great leaders.

Pai was born a leader. Even though at a young age she could not possess all the skills and knowledge that it takes to be a great leader, she carried characteristic as described in Kouzes and Posner that drove her determination. Pai was born with the drive and determination that although many things were working against her, she still felt driven to accomplish what she thought was right for the people and for the community as a whole.

I believe successful leaders learn from the strengths that they possess and are "born� with at some level and build upon these. They continue to build up their success through the skills, knowledge, theory, and practice that exists from others and within their learning environment. The "born� qualities of a leader supplemented by the learnings that an individual goes through within life (professionally and personally) is what seems to create our most successful leaders like Pai.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs