Personal Traits Important for Leaders

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Personality Traits Important for Leaders Leadership Trait Theory Leadership trait theory is one of the earliest theories of leadership, which can be traced back to Thomas Carlyle’s 1849 assertion that “the history of the world was the biography of great men”. It is the idea that there are certain inborn traits that make people more likely to succeed as leaders: in essence, it states that leaders are born, not made. Early research on leadership looked at what distinguished leaders from followers, on the assumption that those who had emerged as leaders were likely to have more leadership traits than their followers. Research has demonstrated that successful leaders differ from other people and possess certain core personality traits that significantly contribute to their success. Understanding the importance of these core personality traits that predict leader effectiveness can help organizations with their leader selection, training, and development practices. However, the behavioral theories of leadership state that it is the behaviour of leaders that distinguishes them from their followers. In other words, leadership is a skill that can be taught. Likewise, the situational leadership theories state that a leader emerges to fit the situation. Different people will take the lead in different situations. This suggests that different situations require different skills. Current studies have indicated that leadership is much more complex and cannot be boiled down to a few key traits of an individual. What scholars have been able to arrive at is that leadership traits of an individual do not change from situation to situation; such traits include intelligence, assertiveness, or physical attractiveness. However, each key trait may be applied to situations differently, depending on the circumstances. Determination and drive include traits such as initiative,
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