Are Leaders Born Or Made? A New Study Show Leadership Might Run In The Family

Have you ever wondered why some people just seem to naturally be better leaders than others? Well, science has some answers: A new study conducted by Kansas State University suggests that leadership qualities might be genetic. Don't worry, though — this doesn't mean that, just because you have quiet or shy parents, you're not ever going to be a leader. It also doesn't mean that, just because your relatives are all outgoing and personable, you'll exhibit the same traits in a leadership environment. Having a genetic propensity for something mostly means that there's a higher likelihood that you'll exhibit a certain trait given the right environment, because nature and nurture work together to influence human beings and it's misguided to think it's just one or the other.

The study shows that a certain dopamine transporter gene called DAT1 impacts your leadership skills. Whether or not you've inherited the gene from your parents can give researchers serious insight into how you might function in a leadership environment or if, for example, you'll rise in business and hold a high-up position.

Here are three major takeaways from the study and how the DAT1 gene impacts those who express it in their DNA:

1. The gene can have both positive and negative impacts on those who express it.


Researchers found that the DAT1 allele is linked to mild rule-breaking behavior like skipping class. While it's true that this kind of behavior is actually positively linked to you becoming a better leader in adulthood, however, the researchers also found that having the gene makes it difficult to monitor your own behavior to incite positive change. One of the researchers in the study shared the example that the gene makes it harder to be persistent, for example.

2. Mild rule-breaking behavior actually indicates intelligence.


People who break small rules as children and adolescents actually are more likely to learn something new by breaking boundaries and exploring -— which apparently makes them smarter and more likely to be better leaders.

3. Biology is not destiny!


The study reminds us that the environment plays a very important role in leadership — that is, genes are not the only factor in determining the future you. So if you want to be a leader, your genes might give you an extra boost but don't slack and always work hard to get where you want to go.

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