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Transcript of Trait Approach
Stogdill (1948)--no consistency in personality traits found within leaders; the traits must be relevant to the leadership situation
Mann (1959)--personality traits can distinguish leaders from non-leaders
Stogdill (1974)--both personality and situational factors are involved in leadership
Lord, DeVader, and Alliger (1986)--personality traits can separate leaders from non-leaders
Kirkpatrick and Locke (1991)--leaders do differ from non-leaders; individuals can be born with the "right stuff" to be a leader, or they can learn how to be one
Zaccaro, Kemp, and Bader (2004)--the characteristics of leaders include social abilities and social intelligence
Summary of Leadership Traits
ELPA 6450: Leadership
trait approach was one of the first attempts to study leadership
"great man" theories developed in an attempt to identify innate characteristics found in great leaders of the times
it was believed that some people were born to be leaders by being born with certain traits
Major Leadership Traits
having strong verbal ability, perceptual ability, and reasoning
NOTE: Research indicates that a leader's intellectual ability should not differ too much from that of followers, or a counterproductive effect can result--the leader may have problems communicating with subordinates or ideas may be too advanced for them to follow.
a sense of self-esteem and self-assurance
a belief in oneself
the ability to be certain as to one's competencies and skills
a desire to get the job done
the quality of honesty and trustworthiness
adhering to a strong set of principles
taking responsibility for one's actions
a leader's tendency to seek out pleasant social relationships
a leader who shows sociability is friendly, outgoing, courteous, tactful, diplomatic
Social leaders have good interpersonal skills and are sensitive to the needs of others
Other Trait-Leadership Relationships
Five-Factor Personality Model--extraversion, conscientiousness, openness, low neuroticism, and agreeableness
How does the Trait Approach Work?
focuses on the leader, not the followers
suggests organizations should assess potential leaders to find the right people, based on who has the desired traits to fit their needs
can be used by individuals to determine strengths and weaknesses with regard to leadership potential
Strengths of the Trait Approach
Weaknesses of the Trait Approach
backed by a century of research
consistent with popular opinion that leaders are special people and different from the average individual
provides benchmarks for leadership
there exists an almost endless list of leadership traits, and even those are subjective
does not take into account various leadership situations
since traits are rather fixed characteristics, there is limited potential for related leadership training and development