The illusion is obstinate and enduring: A mortal is seemingly anointed by the gods, typically at the moment of conception, and is stamped with a unique gift that allows him or her to lead others. This person shines irrepressibly, and other mere mortals are compelled to follow.

As prevalent as this notion is, it is demonstrably false, and any person who has seriously studied leadership has found that it is not a predetermined affair. Many of the most significant shapers of history were themselves shaped gradually, not ready to make an impact on the world until time and the crucible of experience had first performed their duties. Leadership can (and often must) be learned by those who would hope to practice it.

This is not at all to suggest ...

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