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Leadership traits and motives

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Personality traits of effective leaders

General personality traits

Self-confidence

It is important for the leader to be realistically self-confident. A leader who is self-assured without being overbearing instills confidence in team members.

Trustworthiness

Trust contribute greatly to leadership effectiveness. A leader that can "walk the talk", portrays a sense of trust; whereby followers are confident in the leader's intentions and motives, but most of all in the sincerity of the leader's words.

Extroversion

Extoversion also contributes to leadership effectiveness. Moreover it is helpful for leaders to be gregarious and outgoing in most situations. That can make it easier for them to achieve their goals, however that does not mean that every leader have to be extroverted. The famous founder of Dell computer for one, which is Michael Dell, is a laid-back individual which makes him quite introverted, yet he is very successful.

Assertiveness

To let others know where you stand contributes to leadership effectiveness also. For the leader is forthright in expressing demands, opinions, feeligs and attitudes. This of course help leaders perform many tasks and achieve many goals. Then again it is important to keep in mind that one cannot be too demanding and force ideas onto someone else, then the result might not be so good.

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is infectious and for a leader to be enthusiastic means that followers tends to respond in the same way. This of course makes goals more achievable when people have the passion and will for achieving them and  enthusiasm also help to build good relationships with others.

Sense of humour

Humour is seen as an important part of the leader's role. It adds to the approachability and people-orientation of the leader.

Warmth

Being a warm person and projecting that warmth contribute to leadership effectivenessin several ways. Warmth firstly makes it easier for followers to associate with the leader. Secondly warmth portrays charisma, which is a key component of leadership. However most important of all warmth gives support to followers.

High tolerance for frustration

It is extremely important for a leader to be able to cope with the blocking of goal attainment. This is so because a leader encounters a great many frustration.

Task-related personality traits

Certain personality traits of effective leaders are closely associated with task accomplishment.

Passion

For a leader to be effective in what he is doing he has to be passionate about what he is actually doing. That passion should go beyond enthusiasm and although sometimes it can express itself as an obsession for many leaders it is nevertheless something that inspires others to follow.

Emotional Intelligence

To have emotional intelligence means that the leader can identify his/her feelings and those of others and he/she can control such. It is of advantage if the leader can have control over his/her feelings as such people are not easyily angered, upset or saddened, they are to put it blantly emotionless, as they suppress their feelings and prevent the outside world from knowing such. An extension of such a quality is empathy, whereby the leader has the ability to respond to the unspoken feeling of others, that will of course make a leader an effective one as the followers will feel that the leader understands them.

Flexibility and adaptibility

A great leader is someone who facilitates change and to do that the leader have to be able to accept change hence be flexible and adapt to such.

Internal Locus of control

Leaders with an internal locus of control believes that they are the reasons why things happen the way they actually do. For one that has an external locus of control, believes that everyone and everything around him/she are responsible for what happens to he/she. To be an effective leader it is important for the person to have an internal locus of control because then they can control the events that happen and be motivated to achieve their goals.

Courage

Leaders needs courage to face the different challenges they may face. This involves taking responsibility, taking risks and taking initiative in general.

Leadership motives

The power motive

Personalised power motive

This is whereby leaders use power to further their own interests. This includes status symbols, luxury and money.

Socialised power motive

Leaders with a socialised power motive use their power primarily to achieve organizational goals or a vision. This means that the leader uses power for the goos fo other people.

Drive and achievement motive

Leaders are known for the strong effort they put in achieveing work goals. Drive refers to a propensity to inject high energy into achieving goals and to a persistance in applting that energy. Achievement motivation is all about finding joy in accomplishment for its own sake.

Strong work ethic

Effective leaders typically have strong work ethics. That is a firm belief in the dignity of their work. Moreover because of such leaders are well motivated as they value hard work to achieve their set goals.

Tenacity

Many leaders are tenacious, this means that they are good at overcoming obstacles.

(Durbin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006, pp. 28-42)

 

 

 

 

 

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