Critical Thinking

The director of operations in Cliffside Holding Company of Massapequa (CHCM) has been fighting for the opening up of a training program for the junior financial executives in order to prepare them for the future executive positions in the company.  Ms. Forsythe raised the issue on senior executive meeting convened on 1 August, 2012. Following this move, the company’s CEO, Ms. Cynthia Castle has written to Ms. Forsythe, the Company’s vice president for Human resources asking the department to evaluate and weigh the merits and demerits of adopting Ms. Forsythe’s idea. This is a newly projected leadership that, according to Ms. Forsythe needs in depth considerations and evaluations in order to ensure that appropriate decisions are made, and a suitable path is followed eventually achieving the optimal goals and objectives of the company. According to Ms. Forsythe, the company needs to adopt the leadership training program in order to accomplish its goals through improved quality and proficiency.

However, according to Ms. Anil Ravaswami training of the junior finance executives for the preparation of the future senior executive positions is not necessary since. According to her, training will draw away financial resources of the company since much of the finances will be used in the training process. Secondly, people the company will lose much money and time while attending the training process. It means that the company will suffer a double loss eventually implying that training will do more bad to the company than good. According the Human resource vice president, a survey she carried out on the senior staffs showed that all of the twelve senior executives had barely attending any training prior to assuming their leadership positions. Moreover, in spite of there being no training of these senior executives, the company has been doing marvelous in its operations whereby it has been growing at a rate of 12 percent per annum. The V.P also notes that the great American leaders shared some common unique features; they exhibited some uniqueness in their heights whereby all of those cited in the memo have a height that exceeds six feet.  In her response, the V.P tells the CEO that all the senior staffs in the company exhibits such characteristics and hence can be taken to be good leaders. However, this is apart from one Ms. Forsythe, who is the one advocating the training program. To some extent, then it can be perceived as if Ms. Forsythe is not born a leader, and that is why she is in a great pursuit of calling and pushing for a leadership program.

From the memo, it has also been pointed out that leadership skills are not acquired but rather innate (Frehley, 2009). By this, the V.P means that there is no need of training leaders since they are born leaders. She is very much against training new leaders pointing out there are already individuals who are born leaders, and these are the ones who ought to be absorbed into the company to prevent any resource wastage and to ensure optimal production output of the company. According to Ms. Anil, Ms. Forsythe is only guided by personal interests with the objective of coveting the position of human resource. In fact, according to the V.P, all the other senior executives apart from Ms. Forsythe agree with her that no training is required. Based on such observations, Ms. Anil finds it unnecessary to adopt the junior executive training program. From her understanding and from the fact that she is the human resource V.P, she identifies that sending more and more people for the training program will subject the company into spending more and more since the trainees will start asking for expensive trainings that the company may barely afford. The company may also continue engaging the wrong persons in the training process implying that the entire program may become a waste to the company. On the basis of such aforementioned observations, the V.P finds the proposed program to be unnecessary and concludes that the call is only personal-motivated and as such refutes the application of the theories of Aspen Institute, stating that they can be suitable for CHCM.

The reasons behind such assumptions can be deemed valid in the sense that the points raised by Ms. Anil outdo those highlighted by Ms. Forsythe. According to Ms. Forsythe, the junior executive training program will purposely prepare the junior executives for future senior executive positions. This is something that can never be assured as per the Ms. Anil’s claims. The latter state that just like the height is determined by genes, leadership skills are also innate, and not everyone is able to achieve his/her desires by merely pursuing education. From Ms. Anil’s observations training will only drown away the company’s finances. To some extent her refute on Ms. Forsythe’s request can be perceived as being valid and genuine since it is normal to take people for training program, but later these people fail to achieve the intended objectives. It is impossible to differentiate between those who will achieve and become a benefit for the company from those who will just be failures. Also according to Ms. Anil, there is a very solid reason where she points out those leaders are born and not made.  She gives out a list of six influential American leaders, who have not been trained for presidency yet they have delivered the best as far as leadership is concerned.  The reasons behind Ms. Anil’s conclusion can be said to be valid and hence her it is worthwhile adopting her idea of declining Ms. Forsythe’s idea.

However, in spite of the fact that Ms. Anil is against the idea of sending the junior executive staffs for training, she become ambiguous in some of her arguments.  To some extent, she can be seen to support the program proposed by Ms. Forsythe. This is evident from the point she passes across stating that if the company sent the wrong persons for the training program, it would be a waste of time and money. This statement can be understood from another perspective to mean that if the right persons were sent for the program then, better results would be achieved. What Ms. Anil means is that the program would be appropriate if the company would be able to identify the exact personalities who can better be trained in the preparation of future leadership positions in the senior executive positions. On the other hand, Ms. Anil is against the program stating leaders are not made but born leaders. The leadership skills are innate but not acquired through training.

To some extent, Ms. Anil’s descriptive assumptions can be perceived as being valid thus enabling her to arrive at valid deductions. According to her leaders, are born and not made. For instance, she classifies Martin Luther King Jr, Martha Teresa, and Winston Churchill as good leaders on the basis of intelligence, ambition, and self-confidence. These are internal characteristics that most of the leaders can be identified with (Remmé, 2008). She also assumes that leaders have some physical attributes that make them good leaders. From the memo, notable and influential leaders in America were more than six feet in height. However, this is an assumption that cannot be treated as being valid in the sense that physical feature has little to do with leadership qualities. Leadership is a skill that is mentally driven and as such is not in any way related to the physical attributes. It is common to see a short person who delivers good leadership. On the basis of psychological endowment, such as intelligence, self-confidence, as well as ambitious then Ms. Anil’s conclusions can be termed as being valid. In other words, it can be viewed as unnecessary to engage leaders into a training program as leaders are already born with the skills. However, her conclusion on the basis of physical attributes may be refuted in the sense that some short leaders have been very successful in the leadership compared to their taller counterparts.

In this case, the basis of the author’s reasoning has been very crucial in validating the conclusion. According to the author, training is not necessary as leaders are born and not made.  As earlier stated, the author identifies key personality leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, Winston Churchill, as well as Martha Teresa, who showed commonly mental skills that made their leadership be cherished by many world leaders. Such an argument has a solid basis and can be believed to be a key factor that would make Ms. Anil to refute to the proposal of Ms. Forsythe’s finance executive training program. However, the author also states that leaders have some common physical attributes that make them great leaders. Such includes; Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama among others. As aforementioned, physical attributes cannot fully describe the fitness of an individual to be classified as a good leader since leadership is not about height but the ability to influence, motivate, as well as enable other people. As such, this argument as given by the author may not be deemed a valid reason to refute the adoption of a leadership program.

To some extent, the evidence given by the author can be understood as being convincing and hence the reader can give in to them. For instance, the author disproves the training program stating that it will cost the company many financial resources. She starts by stating clearly that it is possible to enroll the wrong people for the leadership program. In this case, training such people will imply that it might be difficult to achieve goals and objectives and, therefore, the company’s resources will go into waste. Secondly, it is clear that some of the world great leaders were born leaders and did not have to attend any institutions in order to train for leadership skills. According to the author, the company has twelve senior executives and who barely went under leadership training process but has taken the company very far in becoming one among the other successful companies.

However, to some extent, the author’s findings can be refuted in the sense that training is an essential tool for anyone willing to be in a leadership position. Leaders are born leaders, but an extra training would make leaders better (McIntosh, 2011). Training is an essential tool that helps somebody in perfecting what he or she has. For instance, a leader will be trained on the physical attributes leave alone the mental that should be applied automatically. It implies that, despite the fact that, companies may be engaged in training of the ‘wrong’ persons and leaving out the ‘right’ people.  it is thus clear that, training can not only be negative driven but rather can have positive results that would in turn benefit the company/organization and as such the causes of decline of Ms. Forsythe’s idea can be said to have some rivalry.

According to Ms. Anil the company has been gradually growing at the annual rate of growth standing at 12 percent. The company’s top executives are said to be performing and have made the company to be prosperous for the last fifty years. In discussing the paper, the author needs to have pointed out key issues relating to the positive side of training. Ms. Anil widely focused on the negative aspects of leadership by stating clearly that leadership is an innate skill and rather not a trained one. She ought to have discussed on the positive so as to try and create a balance between the negative and positive aspects of leadership training program. She should not only show why it never works but also give some few points on why the program can work.  The author’s conclusion is deemed valuable and worthy. From the memo, the author has appropriately given good reasons as to why the program should not be adopted.


Frehley, W. (2009). Leadership Is Innate. Raleigh, North Carolina:

McIntosh, F. (2011). The relational leader: A revolutionary framework to engage your team. Boston: Course Technology/Cengage Learning.

Remmé, J. (2008). Leadership, change and responsibility. Oxford: Meyer & Meyer Media.