There is a belief that specific characteristic and personality traits contributes to the effectiveness of leadership in many situations. These specific characteristic traits help to realize the leadership effectiveness and behavior. The traits of effective leaders can be categorized as follows:
General personality traits- personality traits in general are related to the success and satisfaction of both personal and professional life. The following factors influence the personality traits of a good leader.
Self confidence- self confidence is not just a trait but it refers to the interpersonal and behavioral skill that an individual possesses to showcase in different kinds of situations. It is similar to keeping the nerves cool even in tremendous pressure. It is one of the first leadership traits that were identified by the researchers and it gets a required amount of attention as a major contributor to leadership effectiveness (Jerabek and Day 2009).
Humility- a leader must be humble sometimes to increase his efficiency as a leader. Humility consists of two parts- one, which accepts that the leader does not know everything and the other, which admits the mistake to his colleagues, teammates and others. Humility actually signifies the leadership that does not put the leader in limelight but others.
Core self evaluation- it is a broader aspect of personality traits which focuses on emotional stability, general self efficacy, centre of control, composed of self esteem and bottom line self assessment. All these traits have affirmative relationship with each other.
Trustworthiness- the team members have a belief that a leader must be honest, credible and full of integrity which ensures trust. Trust refers to an individual’s confidence in another individual’s motive and intention and shows how much the individual is sincere about his word. A research proves that the amount of trust is directly proportional to the improvement in organizational structure (Nwabueze 2011).
A known saying which goes like this, “leaders must walk the talk” is totally valid because it helps in truth telling and the way the leader conducts him is the same way he tells his employees to conduct them. In that case, trust refers to the person’s confidence, motive and sincerity in another person. Trust can also be similar to transparency in which the structure of the organization is totally open about the activities which are related to the welfare of the stakeholders. Trust building depends on two factors- behavior should be made consistent with that of intentions and truth should be spoken in such a way that people think it to be valid (Shih et al. 2009).
A survey which consisted of 106 studies and involved 27103 individuals found out that a leader’s trust is related to various work attitudes of group members, like work satisfaction. Although the bond between trust and job performance was positive but it was low. Another experiment which was conducted online showed that integrity helped in trust- worthiness of the leader which led to the betterment in performance.
Authenticity- authenticity is synonymous with trust- worthiness. To be honest and genuine about own personality, values, beliefs and integrity is the components of being a good leader. For becoming an authentic leader and showcase authenticity, one should be original and not a copy of someone else. In a study conducted between two telecom companies in China showed that employees who abided by the supervisors’ rules and reported timely were more organized and better in their own work compared to others (Steinmann 2015).
Extraversion- an individual of this characteristic trait prefers to be around people rather than being alone. Such kinds of person are more effective in being a leader as they have a tendency to participate in group activities. A survey of 73 studies which involved 11705 subjects showed that extraversion was the most consistent factor of personality traits which is related to effectiveness and emergence of leadership. Evidence showed that an extravert leader is capable enough to extract production from the laid off employees than the active ones.
Assertiveness- it is essential to let others know where the leader stands improves the efficiency of leadership by being an extravert. It simply means to be straight forward in expressing demands, feelings, opinions and attitudes. Assertion helps a leader to perform the tasks like demand a better and higher performance, confront group members and make legal demands on higher management (Gilley, Gilley and McMillan 2009).
Enthusiasm, optimism and warmth- employees have a positive reaction to enthusiasm because it might be perceived as a bonus for constructive behavior. It helps in building a good rapport and a friendly relationship with the team mates. Enthusiasm sometimes takes the shape of optimism which is beneficial for the team to keep them motivated, energetic and confident about achieving the target goals. A warm person projects warmth which is beneficial and effective for a leader in many ways like providing emotional support.
Another experiment which involved aerospace engineers saw a positive relationship between the positive states and performance of the leader and his follower. This study therefore sought the traditional wisdom that leaders with positive attitude can help his team members to grow a positive attitude and give better performance.
Sense of humor- the effectiveness of a leader comes with his good sense of humor because it relieves tension and eases conflict. Humors which direct in self effacing are the choice of both the comedian and the members of the organization. A research which was based in humor rules indicated that people of higher status joke more than those on the lower strata and they are also successful in extracting laughter from others (Kerr et al. 2006).
Task related personality traits- some personality traits of leaders are associated with the completion of task which are classified as traits.
Proactive personality- a leader with a proactive personality tends to have an effect on the environmental change. A study sought that high level managers have challenging goals for their business units which increase sale and performance.
Passion for the work and the people- the main characteristic of being an effective leader is their utmost will for work and the people who help in accomplishing the work.
Emotional intelligence- the capability of a leader lies in managing his emotions which influences the effectiveness of leadership. A recent survey showed that emotional intelligence is one of those factors which affect what the leaders want to accomplish (Rosete and Ciarrochi 2005).
Flexibility and adaptability- a leader must be flexible enough to cope up with the change in organization.
Courage- a leader must be able to take risk and courage to take initiative.
Leaders must be differentiated from non- leaders with respect to their needs and motives.
Power motive- a powerful leader must learn to control resources.
Personalized power motive- leaders seek power to further their own interests and dominate over others.
Socialized power motive- leaders use this power to achieve organizational goal with a motto.
Drive and achievement motive- drive refers to putting high energy for achieving goals. Achievement refers to being satisfied in accomplishing for own sake (Steinmann et al. 2015).
Tenacity and resilience- tenacity is important for leaders for implementing a new program. Resilience is its part which makes a person to come back through constant effort.
Effectiveness- leaders must be in constant struggle to sharpen their craft in being effective.
Finding great mentors- leaders have a group of people who willingly follow their instructions.
Clarifying leadership vision- clarifying the vision helps in determining the areas which need improvement and more practice.
Be committed- the activities of leadership take away thoughts which can be disturbing because people are involved and they are not easily satisfied. Effective leaders always stay focused on the right thing and achieve leadership vision.
Treat people properly- it is always important to treat people properly. But there is a different story when the treatment requires variation from people to people. This is because some people need praise while others want to work effectively in a team (Northouse 2015).
Learning from mistakes- in an instance, when an individual went to a party he made an argument about leadership and mistakes. He stated that the best leaders are the best learners.
Self assessment- an effective leader must learn to take care of their personal strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of the areas of weakness allow the leaders to improve their capability in order to achieve goals.
Sharp perception- leaders have a transparency in communication with other team members and fellow mates and internal understanding how they are perceived. If an environment of honest perception is created then one can ask about his areas of good skill and the areas which need to be improved (Antonakis and House 2013).
Responsive to the group’s needs- perception helps a leader in knowing the demands of his team. . There are some teams which value trust more than creativity while others prefer an expert in communication than in organization. It is easy to build a good team when the leader has a clear concept about the goals of his employees.
Knowing the organization- an effective leader will know his organization just like his own shadow. They are totally aware about their role in building a perfect image for his organization.
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