A Dynamic Systems View on Leadership, Talent, and Intelligence
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 7 No. 1 (2006): Vol-7-Issue-1-January-2006
A key question concerning leadership is whether leaders are born or made. Research has shown that
although genetic temperament may play a role, environment is a large factor (Ceci, 1996). A
determinist point-of-view may consider that if something exists, then it can be measured and
organizations would be foolish not to use tests to assess talent and leadership. In contrast, however, a
dynamic systems view of leadership would contend that the variables that determine leadership are
numerous, interacting, with small differences sometimes resulting in great changes.
An IQ score is only weakly correlated with success (Gardner, 1999; Ceci, 1996; Taleb, 2007). Many, if
not most, outstanding individuals were not identified as exceptional in schools. Outstanding individuals
who think differently may not fit neatly into a label or category and because of this are difficult to identify.
There is truth rather in those common inspirational stories of “C” students who later become high
achievers. In a study of people of eminence, only twenty percent of this group consistently received
superior grades in high school or college (Ludwig, 1995).