Leadership: Art or Science

Recently a friend asked me what I thought about leadership. Is it an art or science?
I think it’s both.

While personality traits that lend themselves to leadership may be born into an individual, I believe that most of the qualities of good leadership are developed through the experiences, examples, training, and effort that an individual has or gives.

Similar to musicians, there are those naturally born with an ability to lead and there are those who have to put in much time and effort growing into a leader. However, those who hone, craft, and develop these skills are the ones who receive the benefits of good results. Leadership is a science in that it is developed through processes, but it is an art in how it must be executed in a way to be well received by others.

It’s a bit like engineering and designing a chair. The engineer makes the structure so it won’t fall down. The designer makes it look like something upon which someone will want to sit. You need both. A leader who is all science will probably have difficulty finding people to lead.

Someone who is all ‘art’ as a leader will not really have somewhere he is leading the people to. You need both art and science in your leadership development.