Is a good leader born or made?

That’s the question a new book tries to answer.

Dr. Julian Barling, a business professor at the Queen’s School of Business in Kingston, Ontario is the author of The Science of Leadership, which compiled studies on leadership from the past 60-plus years.

He said the answer isn’t so simple.

“Research today shows us that the answer to the question is actually that it’s both,” he said. “Both genetics and people’s early environments play a role in whether they are likely to become leaders later on in their lives.”

He polled current leaders about what they look for in an employee and said managers weren’t looking for the next leader, but rather someone who is loyal, reliable and willing to take orders.

He also said we are often guilty of overestimating what skills a person needs to be a good leader.

“I think that that can perhaps paralyze people, instead of realizing that what is required of wonderful leaders is really that they do the small things that mean a lot at the right time,” he said.

Barling will be at the Glencoe Club in Calgary Wednesday evening, signing copies of his book and giving a brief presentation on his findings before taking questions from those in attendance.