It is said some are born great, some become great and to some greatness is thrust upon. We see in every society, in every community, in every group of people, there is bound to be someone who emerges above the others and who acts as a guide or a lead.
The majority of people in this world are to be led, and to be shown the path they ought to tread. But a few are off from the rest and they can rule over the rest.
It is true that leaders are born, no doubt, but training may also play a vital role in developing qualities of leadership. Those who are born leaders feel an inner compulsion to perform great tasks and they successfully accomplish them.
Born leaders need no training and they shape the destiny of others. Columbus was a born leader who had the qualities of leadership in undertaking voyages of exploration and discovery. Florence Nightingale was a born leader whom nothing could prevent from giving a lead to womankind and urging them to enter the noble profession of nursing.
No formal training is needed for such gifted persons. But some sort of training is certainly very useful in the case of others who have in them innate qualities of leadership but who, if left to themselves, would not probably emerge as leaders.
This training is given to them during their student career, the most suitable period for the development of qualities of leadership This training begins when a student is appointed the monitor of his class. The teacher who picks out a student for monitorship finds in the boy a certain amount of courage and initiative.
The student gets a certain amount of responsibility. In the discharge of his duties as a monitor, his innate courage and spirit of initiative find scope for expression and development. Courage and spirit of enterprise are among the essential qualities of leadership.
One of the best means of developing qualities of leadership among young men and women is to involve themselves in games. Sports inculcate among the youth not only a sense of fair play but also such qualities as mutual cooperativeness or team spirit, endurance, and a capacity to remain undaunted in the face of defeat.
Extra-curricular activities in schools and colleges also provide opportunities to students to receive training in leadership. Every college has a number of societies and associations for debating, for organizing tours, outings and excursions, and for various other activities. The office-bearers of these societies and associations are leaders though in limited spheres.
Nevertheless they get excellent training in enforcing discipline in organizing functions, in taking initiative and showing their spirit of enterprise. They also get training in public speaking. The ability to address audiences is one of the most essential qualities of a leader in any field of life-political, social, military, etc. Elections to college unions are another means of training leaders.
The presidents and secretaries of college unions get many opportunities of developing their organizational ability. They are the elected acknowledged leaders of students in their colleges and they have a great hold over students
Yet another means of providing training in leadership is N.C.C. Here, again, those who have certain innate qualities of leadership like flair for adventure, initiative and stamina come into prominence and are generally given the ranks by virtue of which they exercise authority over others.
The N.C.C. student- officers learn how to organize things and how to command men. Later on they may join the regular army where their qualities of leadership will find the fullest scope. Scouting too offers training in leadership
Essential qualities of leadership are courage and daring, a capacity to take risks, self-confidence, the spirit of initiative and enterprise, the capacity to handle men and situations, the ability to address large audiences, the power to take quick decisions, the capacity to inspire confidence in others, and stamina of endurance.
These qualities are needed in a leader no matter what the field of his activity-politics, social reform, army, exploration, etc. is. It is only during the years of boyhood and youth that these qualities can be developed, and they can best be developed through sports, through extra-curricular activities, through students unions, through N.C.C training, through scouting and similar other channels.