One of the most interesting arguments in psychology is that of nature versus nurture. It is the question of how much of our behavior is determined by who we are genetically versus how we have been shaped by our environments. Our genetic composition determines the emotional or technical capacity that we start off with, but a rich environment can mean the difference between honing those talents or staying at our natural abilities. We can see evidence of this in our everyday, whether it be our successes, our intelligence, or our looks; but at the end of the day, the question remains: were we always destined to be who we are, or did our experiences growing up shape us into who we are today?
Luckily for us, years of research has shown that it is a little bit of both. Our genetic makeup can design us to be the best athlete or the quickest study, but if we don’t hone those skills, that natural ability only goes so far. I learned this at a very young age when my 3rd grade teacher would help me with my reading. Every day she gave me extra lessons in reading, and I started to improve in my reading but most importantly I started to understand the importance of reading.
The environment I was provided in grade school set me up so that my natural abilities, or lack thereof, could be improved upon and the same thing can be said of the Leadership Development Program. You can have a natural ability for leadership, but without knowledge gained from years of experience or proper training, that only goes so far. The environment within the LDP challenges you while providing you with the support you need to improve and find success. It sets a basis for how you can interact in your professional life and how you connect with your peers. Just like how my 3 rd grade teacher took the time to work with me through my weakness, LDP works us through the minute details of leadership that we may struggle with and then provides us with “extra lessons” — the importance of those leadership details. A good environment filled with people that care about you and who want to see you reach your dreams will always benefit your success. That is why I will always believe that the most rewarding thing about the LDP is its environment which helps us all improve as technical leaders.