I watched Laurence Steinberg’s video twice, and I definitely agree with Professor Steinberg. With the Nature vs. Nurture debate is not a topic of discussion anymore, because we are more than likely to have the debate about how genes and the environment affects how a person develop throughout their lives. I really don’t think that everyone grows up to become the same person as their parents just because they have the same genes. I really think it’s more about the environment and what type of environment era that person grew up in. A person can have parents that is educated and both went to an Ivy league school, but their kid ends up going to a regular college, or doing something else because of the society they are going up in. This could have an affect of someone especially if they are more into what their friends are doing. Some parents often wonder how their child turned out different then they are, because most times have changed, and with all the social media access that’s going around the internet, a lot of kids have more options to do a lot of things with their lives, even if it’s something their parents raised them correctly. So I think that Professor Steinberg latest finding is correct, because genes doesn’t determine how a kid will be when they grow up to become an adult. They could follow in their parent’s footsteps, however they could go a different path, it just depends on what type of environment that kid is living in.
The two people who I would like to compare are my coworkers. Both of them will make good leaders, however one of them is in charged of our division. Both of them has the genes to become a leader, because they both have passion for leading their Sailors and making sure the division is going in the right direction. They both are smart and they are both attending college, however the one that’s in charge of the division is younger then the other one, and have fewer years in the Navy then the other coworker. The coworker that is not in charge can relate to Sailors better, because she has more experience then the coworker that is in charged. I truly think that the young Sailor that is in charge of the division is because of his personality, not because he is a good leader, and it’s all about the work environment and the younger leader fits in with the younger sailors. I also our chain of command allowed the younger sailor to have the leadership of the division is because the younger sailor can have a better understanding of how to handle the younger environment, because they comes from the same era of society, I honest would think that the older sailor would be the leader would be the leader of the division, because of her self driven skills, however due to the young environment within the division, the younger leader would be the perfect leader for the division.
I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Laurence Steinberg’s lecture. I agree with what he says how the gene might be there but it will not actually present itself unless the environment is conditioned to condition that gene to be active. This is very apparent when you have siblings who have the gene for something like depression and they grow up in the same home, yet one develops depression over time while the other had not.
The two people who come to my mind who may have the genetic propensity for being a leader are David and Maria. Both of these people were born into a family with parents who were leaders. David’s father owned his own company with twenty-five to thirty personnel working for him at any given time. He was very known around Galveston and sought out for his expertise in home building. This man was a natural leader in the community. Maria’s father was in the Army and over an entire platoon in Vietnam war. He served fourteen years and then retired and held a high position at the International Longshoreman Association in Galveston. Everyone knew him and praised him for all the great things he did for the city. People always showed how much they respected him everywhere he went. Throughout the years, you could see that these two, David and Maria, both had the natural leadership skills required to lead people. In middle and high school, the both had crowds of people around them. People would do whatever they decided to do.
According to Dr. Laurence Steinberg, just because someone has “inherited a genetic inclination towards” “a certain personality trait” does not necessarily mean that it will be recognized in their behavior (n.d.). That is the difference with these two. David joined the Army and had so much potential. He threw it all away by getting kicked out and ended up back in our hometown. From there, he became a leader figure but to the wrong crowds. I believe he has a strong sensation seeking personality where he was “always on the lookout for a new challenge or high” (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Surrounded by people who were making quick money, he was easily influenced into that life. He sold drugs, was in and out of jail and prison, and wasted his life on doing drugs and partying every night. Through all of this, he still had followers who would do whatever he asked them to do. It was so unbelievable to me every time I would visit to see how many young adults were following him because they looked up to him so much. I believe that the environment had much to do with where he ended up. Although nature made him a leader, nurture turned him into a leader in a different sense of the word.
Maria, on the other hand, took her leadership traits and ran with it. She had always shown a temperament with the dimension of sociability. She was always seen approaching and enjoying others (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). She manages a restaurant during the day and manages a bar at night. She knows how to handle chaos and keep everything under control. The owners of both establishments love her and trust her to run their businesses. She does all the hiring and firing, manages the schedule, and runs the establishments with ease. Her leadership gene is very strong and definitely playing a large role in her life. I believe that she was able to become such a great leader though her environment. Her father was always teaching her things and raised her and her sisters to be leaders in society. I believe it stuck with her.
In the shortest of replies to Dr. Steinberg, I agree. Keeping my own little tradition of using more of a “melting pot” viewpoint, I definitely think that genetic disposition and environment both help shape personality and that no single theory properly portrays personality, but all theories combined each add their own little insight into the human mind. I view genes as simply building blocks, which really is all that they are. What genes give us are physical or physiological attributes. Now while this doesn’t dictate who we will turn out to be, I do agree that certain genes combined with experience or environment can combine to affect personality. The example I will use is addiction. Some people are born with a slight chemical difference to what would be considered “normal” and provided a certain environment and exposure to addictive substances, these two factors can and sometimes and often do result in manifestation. What I really wonder, is which one affects us more, genetic disposition, or environment, and is there really a correct answer? I would suspect environment.
On the subject of leaders, I first want to say that I view leaders and managers as two separate people. If anyone in this class submits that people put in positions of leadership are simply leaders because that is what has been provided to them, I am formally disagreeing with you right now. I thought that was important before I start. Since my position (as I described above) is that genes are simply building blocks of a physical or physiological nature, I don’t know how much that really affects the creation of a leader. I think environment plays more of a role in this. I’ll first consider an important aspect of what I consider a leader which is communication. We all know that there are people out there who communicate very easily and very well, while we also know there are people out there who seize up in fear when presented the opportunity to speak in a public setting. Are people born like this, or is this a learned response from life experience, or both? Animals are born with an instinct to reproduce. This is driven by chemical responses (physiology) but can the same be said to the same degree about an emotion like fear? I know that during any emotion, certain chemical processes occur, but the difference (to my understanding) is that hunger, for example, is produced by chemical interpretations in your brain, whereas when you perceive something as scary in your world, this then results in a chemical process (fight or flight). While I must admit, I’m no geneticist, my knowledge is very limited and I can agree that there may be a similar chemical difference occurring here just as in the addiction example above, I still think environment plays more of a role in the development of leaders. Effective communication is a skill that can be learned if practiced enough. Perseverance is most likely a trait that someone met with adversity throughout their life will have further developed than a person born on a silver platter (in my opinion). I don’t believe that people are born with the traits necessary to be a leader in the same fashion that people are born to require food. So, in conclusion, my answer is that 1 person may be an effective leader while another is not because they have learned and developed the necessary traits throughout their life to be so. Or not, maybe I’m WAY off on all of this.