Are Leaders Born or Made?

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work.”

Vince Lombardi                      

Actually, are leaders born or made? The answer to that question will vary from person to
person depending on their experiences, knowledge, or opinion. First of all, let’s find out, who
is a leader and what qualities leaders should have. In society, there are groups of people who
work together to achieve a common goal. Maybe it is an organization, a group, or a country.
A leader is a person who can influence a group of people to achieve a goal. For example, if
we consider AIESEC, it is a youth-led organization present all over the world. It consists of
youth leaders from different countries and backgrounds. It has proper leadership which is
why AIESEC is recognized as a well-organized organization. According to Vince Lombardi’s
quote, it expresses that leaders are made through hard work, experience, passion, etc. That is
true. But there will be some people born with leadership qualities and characteristics.
What are those leadership characteristics and qualities? We can identify leadership traits as; confidence, creativity, empathy, focus positivity, risk-taking, stability, team building, adaptability, etc. Likewise, there are so many leadership traits. Some people are born with these traits. Those people have to improve these skills and use those skills properly. Then they can be a leader. It is not enough to be born with leadership traits; they must learn how to use them. Even if an individual is born with leadership traits, he or she must develop the skills.
Also, anyone can be a leader, but they should have leadership characteristics. It is not mandatory to be born with leadership characteristics in order to become a leader. Anyone can be a leader through hard work. This means that the person who wants to be a leader must try
to improve existing traits and form new traits.
Leadership traits can either be inborn characteristics or developed characteristics. Passion is
one of the leadership traits. It is mostly an inborn trait. Creativity is also an inborn
characteristic because it is harder to force. On the other hand, positive energy, and the ability
to energize other people are some traits that are pretty hard-wired within born leaders.
Likewise, some traits are inborn, and some should be made. If you want to be a leader, the
best way is, to develop leadership traits. If we consider accepting responsibility, the person
who wants to be a leader has to do more than he or she is required to do. They show up on
time, admit mistakes, apologize when necessary, and do not shift blame onto others. This is
the way to accept responsibilities. Also, another most important quality is the ability to
inspire other people to action. To motivate others, we should keep an optimistic attitude,
focus on the positive and not be negative, encourage others to become the supreme version of
themselves, share a vision and let them work on it. Thus, by developing and improving these
traits, anyone can become a leader. Similarly, born leaders also must improve other
leadership characteristics.
So far, I talked about who are leaders, what are the characteristics leaders should have, what are the inborn traits, and how to develop some leadership traits. but the main question remains unanswered. Are leaders born or made? Step by step I create the path to answer this question. As I mentioned before there are leaders born with leadership traits. But anyone can be a leader. In AIESEC also there are different types of leaders. Most of them improve and train themselves to be great leaders. So, by working hard and understanding ourselves we can make ourselves a leader.

So, the answer to the question is both. There will be leaders who are born leaders or made leaders. It is not important whether the leader is born one or made one.
The most important thing is, to be a leader. Anyone can be a leader, but it is not an easy task.
That is why there are only a few leaders all around the world. Leaders are essential role
models in society. A particular organization, group, or country is led by leaders. The
organization or country is dependent on the leader and the decisions made by the leader.
Leaders are both born and made. Whether you are a born leader or not, it doesn’t matter. Be a
leader. That is the most valuable and excellent thing. Here at AIESEC, the best opportunities
are provided for you to find your inborn leadership traits and develop them. So, don’t hesitate
to grab the opportunity when it’s presented.


Read More →


IDEALIZE 2022 – Where Ideas Meet Reality

Have you been waiting for the prime opportunity to showcase your technical and IT skills? AIESEC is here to answer your call. AIESEC in University of Moratuwa is pleased to announce the launch of IDEALIZE 2022, the second iteration of their largest app developing competition for tech entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The battle of the tech minds is set to begin in the month of June and is ready to find its Idealizers who will pave the way for the future of the technological industry in Sri Lanka.

AIESEC is a global youth-led organization present in more than 100 countries whose primary goal is to nurture the leadership skills of young leaders. It provides opportunities for enthusiastic youngsters to prove their skills by engaging in valuable projects, volunteering, and many more. IDEALIZE is one such initiative organized especially to highlight the technological entrepreneurship skills that many Sri Lankan youth possess. It is in no doubt that the future lies with technology. From the moment the first computer was invented, humans have always incorporated technology in their innovations. Today, there is hardly any person who doesn’t have a device that connects them with the rest of the world. This is why the future generations must be equipped with IT skills. Recognising this need, AIESEC in University of Moratuwa initiated IDEALIZE, an ideathon coupled with app development to equip the Sri Lankan youth with the necessary technological skills.

The project was first initiated in 2021 with much success. More than 650 participants from all over the country came together to battle for the IDEALIZE championship. The event was concluded with the crowning of the Idealizers. Sujith Perera, Suween Ellawela, and Shashenka Gamage of Team 3X triumphed as the school category winners while Team Error 404 headed by Venushi De silva was victorious in the open category.

IDEALIZE 2022 aims to reach even greater heights than before by upscaling the magnitude of the competition. To aid this grand cause, 99X Corporation, a pioneer in the technological industry in Sri Lanka has partnered up with AIESEC in University of Moratuwa as the Platinum Partner providing their valuable assistance and guidance. We also have NCINGA Corporation, a technology solutions provider forefront in the IT industry, as the Gold Partner of the event This year, IDEALIZE is focusing on uplifting the technological entrepreneurship aptitude of Sri Lankan youth and empowering women in tech. The competition will be open to two categories of participants as school and open categories. Any individual between the age of 19 – 28 who has a dream of kickstarting their entrepreneurship journey is welcome to take a chance at the IDEALIZE championship.

The project would embark on its voyage on the 14th of June, 2022 opening registrations. Participants will be provided knowledge of app development and guidance from mentors in technological companies during the competition. The project would span over three months with challenging and entertaining events. Well-known professionals in the technological arena will be gracing the event to impart their knowledge and insights

Technology is the ticket to the future. IDEALIZE is here to provide that valuable opportunity to the future generations of this country. So this is a warm invitation to all youngsters with a passion for IT to join hands with us in unlocking their hidden potential. To find more information about IDEALIZE 2022 visit the AIESEC Sri Lanka Facebook site and IDEALIZE website.

Facebook Event Page – https://fb.me/e/1vFiar7Ey

Registration link – http://aiesec.lk/idealize2022-reg 

Event Booklet – http://aiesec.lk/idealize-events


Written by:

Chirasthi Amarasingha (AIESEC in University of Moratuwa)


Read More →


Lived Leadership – a Glimpse of a Team Leader’s Journey

What does it mean to be a leader?


What goes on in a leader’s mind as he strives to guide a collective towards achieving their purpose? 


How does leadership change you?

The answers to these questions are sure to lie on a spectrum depending on who they are asked. Still, having just concluded a successful tenure in the project On the Map 1.0 in May, team leader Shenal Fernando shares his take on these topics, the memories of his experience still fresh in his mind.

On The Map 1.0 was an AIESEC Global Volunteer project hosted in Sri Lanka during a 6-week span from April to May, targeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Decent Work and Economic Growth. This project aimed to enrich and elevate tourism in Sri Lanka by shining light on the industry from a different perspective. During this time, Shenal led his team of OC members to host 6 Exchange Participants who would take part in the project. Shenal’s role as Team Leader involved overseeing all aspects of the project, from event planning and logistics to finance, partnership management, as well as EP handling. 

The following is his account of his leadership journey as a Team Leader.

How it all began

Recalling his initial motivation to apply for the position of Team Leader, Shenal cites his time as a member of the Oceano 7.0 Organizing Committee, where he got his first taste of work in the Incoming Global Volunteer front office. 

He notes how the OC was so well-bonded and worked so well together. “Even today, months after the project, I could still crack a joke in the group chat and get the conversation going”, he says in testament. Moreover, he recalls how he had the chance to get exposure to various functions of the OC (despite his role being assigned to a single function), which strengthened his confidence about applying for a higher position.

Making a connection

After having kept company with them at every high and low during their six weeks in Sri Lanka, Shenal affirms the obvious in that he did form a bond like no other with the Exchange Participants in the project. However, like any long lasting interpersonal relationship, the importance of strong communication accompanied by empathy, especially in the early stages, can be highlighted here. 

“My six EPs were six totally different personalities,” explains Shenal, “but in the beginning, I felt that they belonged to one of two types: Some were completely open-book folks who let me know their ideas and opinions quite directly, and some were more reserved. My job as the TL was to understand the needs of all my EPs, and the way for me to do that was to keep communicating with them, not as a TL, but as a friend. Like I’m one of the EPs myself.”

Taking obstacles in a stride

“Of course we had problems! But we figured it out anyway.”

No endeavor can ever go perfectly without any snags along the way, and On The Map 1.0 was no different. As the Team Leader, Shenal had to address a plethora of issues big and small as the project progressed. 

According to him, logistics such as transport and accommodation had to be arranged on short notice, especially since the project took the team all over the island. He expressed his relief at having a reasonable budget at his disposal which he could use to tackle specific issues, but they’re still would remain some issues that could not be tackled with money, such as the unavailability of human resources. At such times, Shenal took proactive measures to call upon the AIESEC member network to ensure that all events would be carried out seamlessly. Shenal also notes, in particular, the backing the Executive Board of AIESEC gave him in Colombo South, who not only guided his work from afar but even provided their utmost support by attending project activities.

He then opened up about the issues that were faced, which stemmed from the economic crisis and social unrest that reached their peak while the project was ongoing. “We had to be upfront with the EPs right from the expectation-setting phase and tell them about the living conditions being affected [due to power cuts and current social climate]. Sadly, this meant that we wouldn’t be able to meet some of our Exchange Standards… but I’m grateful to their spirit in still taking on the project despite all this.”

Growth, takeaways, and moving forward

“For me, the TL experience has been about the human connection,” Shenal concludes. “I’ve been able to develop many skills related to handling people and connecting with them to work together towards our goal. On top of that, I think it’s a great way to get to know each of the processes in the [iGV] function… from IR and Matching to Finance and B2B to CXP. Even a total newbie could leave with a total understanding of the iGV front office.”

At the end of this unforgettable experience, Shenal has been left motivated to pursue his pathway in iGV, hoping to apply for even higher positions in the future.

Shenal’s story is but one of the countless stories of young leaders who AIESEC has empowered to lead. These stories are never the same from one young leader to another, yet the one constant in all of them remains to be the tremendous value gained by the young leader at the end of an experience of a lifetime.

Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka

Leadership in the face of a pandemic/virtual leadership

Today, rapid technological advancement and industrialization have brought humankind to the forefront of development. Nowadays, man has brought everything close to his fingertips. So, the man may think that he has conquered the whole universe by himself. But nowadays, it has become a mere thought of man. That’s because the Coronavirus has engulfed the entire world. This shattered their belief that man could control everything.

True leadership is essential to restoring such a collapsing world. So, we need the guidance of a visionary leader to save the world from the plague, restore the economy that is collapsing in the face of the plague, and achieve the goals that must be achieved even in the face of the plague. 

We can unequivocally identify countries like China, America, Singapore, Italy, and Russia as the ones that have pursued success in the face of such visionary leadership. But when it comes to Sri Lanka, it’s a bit questionable.

In the face of an epidemic, the first focus should be on controlling the epidemic to some extent. For that, a country needs visionary state leadership and the leadership of a group of doctors who serve the people to the best of their ability. Closing the country at the right time, preventing people from mobilizing, educating the public about the health regulations to be followed and focusing on vaccinations are essential in such an epidemic situation. We need real leadership to lead the people in such tasks.

Despite an epidemic, there are some essential elements that a country must maintain. The first of these is to ensure that school education is maintained correctly. For the future of a country to be better, there must be a group of scholars who are armed with knowledge. For that, a perfect education should be given to the children. 

In addition to the state leadership, school teachers, principals and university staff should take the lead in this. Only by properly fulfilling their leadership role can the future of a country be brought from darkness to light.

Even in such a situation, the other important task to be maintained is to maintain the economy of the country properly. This is an important task that needs to be done by a head of state. And this is his responsibility. This is also the responsibility of the people’s representatives who have been elected to parliament by popular vote. Their task is to strengthen exports despite the epidemic and to manage the economy with proper management by limiting unnecessary spending. It is the responsibility of the people’s representatives to uplift the economy of a country as the whole country will decline if the country’s economy collapses. 

Unfortunately, this is also the tragic fate that has befallen Sri Lanka today. And also there are also people in a country who have lost their livelihoods due to the epidemic and are helpless. It is also the responsibility of the leaders of a country to provide relief for them. At the same time, the people’s representatives should try to arrange a temporary livelihood for them.

 This will prevent their families from becoming helpless. It is also the duty of the people’s representatives to provide relief to the families affected by the epidemic and to the families of those who lost loved ones in the epidemic. And also it is also the duty of heads of state to revive the tourism industry, which was crippled by the epidemic. Recovering the country during and after an epidemic is one of the primary responsibilities of the country’s leaders. And it is not just heads of state who must take the lead in curbing such an epidemic when the whole world is in turmoil. 

As citizens of a country, we, too, must lead ourselves. It is our responsibility to comply with existing health regulations. Also, the mother and father should take the lead in the family and ensure that their children are protected from the plague. It is their responsibility to motivate their children to continue their education, even in the face of an epidemic. In addition, they have a responsibility to keep the family economy strong, even in the face of epidemics. And if a person acts contrary to health regulations, it is our duty to point out that fault to him. Thus, it is clear to us that it is not the responsibility of one person alone to prevent such an epidemic. It is not something that should be led by one person. As citizens of a country, we must all take the lead. We all need to lead our leadership roles correctly. Only with the intervention of all of us can such a dangerous situation be averted.

Read More →

Leadership, Uncategorized

Are Leaders Introverts or Extroverts?

An indirectly hinted cultural assumption is that extroverts make better leaders than introverts. This has caused even the managers to feel often concerned about the effect of one’s personality on leadership.

However, people have begun to acknowledge that introverts can also make good leaders. So, who really will make a better leader, the introverts or the extroverts?

The answer is neither. Dear readers, tactical questions are still raised about whether your innate personality may influence your leadership

Any personality type-introvert, extrovert, ambivert, or whatsoever, any other vert on the continuum can be a capable and effective leader. Leadership depends not only on your personality, but it does have a lot to do with your personalized approach.

The two extremes of the personality spectrum are introverts and extroverts. The majority of folks fall someplace in between. While there are many types of leaders, the finest are those that can alter their personality qualities, particularly at work. They can be tremendously outgoing one day and incredibly concentrated the next on a critical task.

In the profession, it doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert; what matters is how you handle a situation. Introverts and extroverts can both bring essential leadership qualities to the table. It is critical to comprehend the perks of both an introvert and an extrovert leader.

Let us have a closer look at these two extremes of personalities. Though introverts might not be as outgoing as extroverted individuals, introverts can be just as skilled at leading people. They have unique advantages of their introverted nature.

Great leaders aren’t just talkers. They pay attention to their bosses, employees, clients, and everyone else.

Introverted leaders are better listeners, empathizing with their employees’ frustrations and considering their issues. They also understand that learning is essential for growth and that knowledge begins with listening.

Moreover, introverts aren’t solitary creatures, and they’re not merely shy. Instead, they are picky about who they let into their circle of trust and are highly devoted to those they choose.

Introverted leaders form tight social relationships with colleagues they trust in the workplace. As a result, better working relationships and collaboration opportunities emerge.

On the other hand, introverted leaders are satisfied with letting their proactive staff take the spotlight because they don’t want to be the centre of attention. They go to great lengths to support their employees in the background and ensure that their top performers are appreciated.

Since they are more vocal and outgoing, the extroverts make this an adequate opportunity to make great leaders.
Rapid decision-making skills are required in many fields. Most extroverts find it simple to make quick decisions and expect others to do the same. It annoys them when they can’t decide immediately away. These scenarios can push individuals to take calculated risks, which introverts may find challenging.

Extroverts enjoy being in the company of others. Thus they adapt well to various social situations and are skilled at persuasion. They can also negotiate or mediate between two or more parties, especially when they demonstrate empathy for all parties involved. They’re also more forceful, making them more likely to follow up on tasks that team members haven’t done yet.

In addition, extroverts have a lot of energy. When they are enthusiastic about anything, they tend to show it, and they do so in a noticeable way to others. Because of these features, they are well-known in the workplace. Their excitement is contagious, and it can positively influence their colleagues.

But when you are a leader, having a hybrid personality is the best. There is no single right way to lead a team. And also, a person’s introverted or extroverted personality can never break your leadership potential. How do you adapt according to the situation, and how much do you try to play to your strengths and overcome your weaknesses to become a better leader.

A good leader will try to create an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable and included. As a result, it is critical to recognize that a successful leader, whether introverted or extroverted, adapts to the situation and assists their team members in achieving the goal.

Read More →