Discuss about the Critical Analysis of Traits, Motives and Characteristics of Leaders.
Leadership means the capability of a leader to increase motivation and support among team members who are required to attain organizational goals. Leadership effectiveness indicates achievement of desirable outcomes like quality, productivity and satisfaction in a specific situation. Theoretical evaluation conducted by Dinh et al. (2014) indicated that leadership is not a behavior or trait of a person but a process generated in the communications among people working in distinct work environment. Northouse (2015) stated that leadership relationship has changed in the modern era where people tend to communicate electronically. However, Steve Jobs the leader of Apple Inc has stated that the leaders should not allow the communication technology to block them from communicating face-to-face with the team members. The objective of the essay is to evaluate the relationship between traits, motives and effectiveness of leaders. Moreover, the critical evaluation will offer examples from the public domain and the ways in which these are applied in practice will be explained with assessing ways the relationship between theory and practice is demonstrated.
Personality Traits of Effective Leaders
At the time, managers are assessed in terms of leadership effectiveness their traits and personal characteristics are generally scrutinized. Such characteristics are linked with leadership and are classified into categories namely motives, personal traits and cognitive aspects. Certain personality traits contribute to the effectiveness of the leaders in several situations as long as the leadership style fits the situation in a better manner. Personality traits of leaders are divided into two groups’ namely general personality traits and task-related traits.
Steve Jobs of Apple had a definite vision and mission for the brand. The brand emphasized on the production of exquisite electronic goods for elite category of buyers. As such, the brand achieved a distinct brand name and reputation in the recent years. General personality traits are observed both within and outside the working place and is associated with the success and satisfaction in personal as well as work life. General personality traits of the leaders include self-confidence, humility, assertiveness, enthusiasm, optimism, authenticity, assertiveness and core self-assessment. For instance, several successful top leaders like Bill Gates and Charles Schwab are introverts those who turn out to be drained by social encounters and had high degree of emotional stability, agreeableness and detrimental qualities (Nichols & Cottrell, 2014).
Task-related traits are the ones those are closely related with accomplishment of work. Such personality traits include proactive personality, passion for people and work, courage, adaptability and flexibility. It also includes emotional intelligence of leaders that encompass self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management. There exist certain examples of task related leadership success in the practical scenario. For instance, Project managers like Frank Lloyd were considered as the greatest American architects of all time. This leader possessed task oriented skills through which he efficiently managed vendors associated with the bills of materials and all the connected project timelines. With such efficient task-based leadership, he designed more than 1000 buildings with great expertise (Nichols & Cottrell, 2014).
Efficient leaders are generally being distinguished by their motives and needs. Leaders are observed to have an intense desire to gain a position of responsibility for others and manage them. The desire for needs and motives are evident in four categories including power, efficient work ethics, achievement, drive, resilience and tenacity.
In the power motive, the efficient leaders possess strong desire to control resources. Leaders having personalized power motive seek power to increase their personal interest. Leaders with socialized power motive have power to attain organizational goals or vision. For instance, in a research conducted by Delbecq et al. (2013) to evaluate motivations of leaders it was gathered that the US companies required that the leader of the company should have high skills of power in order to influence team members.
In drive and achievement motive, leaders intend to work hard to attain their goals. In “drive motive” leaders have the capability to put forth superior energy towards attaining goals and remain persistent to apply such energy. This generally needs huge amount of fitness and physical energy. In achievement motive, the leaders have the propensity to find joy in goals and vision attainment. For instance, researchers such as Gilmore et al. (2013) revealed that leaders of such motive might motivate team members in conduct that is associated with gaining revenue, growth and organizational culture objectives. The followers’ might follow brainstorm techniques for enhancing communication between departments to attain enhanced organizational culture. Such leadership activity facilitates team to attain departmental tasks, which converts into organizational goals.
In resilience and tenacity motive, the leaders with tenacity multiples are considered to be vital for the organization as it does not take a great amount of time for them to implement a new program or to consummate an innovative business deal (Boyatzis et al., 2012). Tenacious leaders are deemed to be resilient at the time they rebound from a delay from their regular efforts.
The Relationship Between Traits, Motives and Effectiveness of Leaders
Leadership traits, motives as well as effectiveness is an important part of the decision making process. However, these characteristics can be developed to execute consistent business performances over a period. Through these factors, leaders acquire the necessary business skills and aptitude that are required to built brand reputation and goodwill in the market. As such, the vision as well as the mission of the organization is built through these leadership characteristics. These attributes shall have an influence on the business performance of the enterprise and shall lead the organization towards productivity in the enterprise. Kim et al. (2013) mentioned that leadership traits and motives shall have an impact on the ability and the effectiveness of the leaders to guide the organization towards an intensively competitive market.
Therefore, a leader must offer guidance to the business entity to lead the organization to lead the organization in the times of crisis. These three factors play an important role in bringing about innovation in the workplace. According to Lussier and Achua (2015), the innovation is an essential part of leadership, which shall help the organization to offer distinctive products and services. Thus, traits, motives as well as the effectiveness of leaders are essential contributors towards the success of a leader.
An efficient leader has several leadership roles such as of a figurehead, team builder, spokesperson, negotiator, executer, strategic planner, entrepreneur and technical problem solver. Charismatic and transformational leadership has a huge impact on behavior and performance of leaders (Lang et al., 2012).
In charismatic leadership, charisma defines special qualities of leaders whose powers, purposes and exceptional determination differentiates them from others. Charisma is a positive and convincing quality that makes its followers to be led by the person who has such leadership style. Charismatic leaders employ impression management for strengthening relationships with his team members (Popper & Mayseless, 2013). Communication styles used by these leaders are through inspiration, by storytelling and great use of social networking.
There are types of charismatic leaders such as socialized, personalized and celebrity charismatic. Socialized charismatic has the capability to retrain the power use in its team member’s interests. Their followers possess a great sense of self and values. Leaders with personalized charismatic employ the power that would serve their own interests and their followers are likely to be submissive, obedient and dependent. Leaders having celebrity charismatic tends to overlap their public celebrity with personalized and socialized traits. For instance, in the practical scenario Lee Lacocca possessed charismatic leadership style when he joined Chrysler and rescued the automaker from getting bankrupt. His natural talent along with his signature slogan “If you can find a better car, buy it!” persuaded government to grant the company a huge loan (Ulrich et al., 2013).
Transformational leadership facilitates bringing major positive changes through shifting team members beyond their self-interests and towards the betterment of followers, organization and community. Transformational leadership has a great impact on its followers as it facilitates team members to become more responsible after getting inspired. These leaders have the capability to create common vision, employ moral reasoning, think uniquely, encourage personal development and leading by providing examples. For instance, advancement of the computing technology by Apple, IBM, Microsoft and Intel was a transformational event. Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple Inc having such leadership style have transformed business processes by means of software applications, microprocessors with high speed and certain other technological leadership (Lussier & Achua, 2015).
Cognitive Aspects and Leadership
Efficient leaders are considered to have intellectual and problem solving capabilities for collecting, processing and storing necessary information in an efficient manner. Such skills are considered cognitive factors. Leaders having such factors possess cognitive/ analytical and practical intelligence, business knowledge or teamwork, creativity, conceptual thinking and farsightedness. Moreover, these leaders have an in-depth insight into situations and people. For being an effective leader one should need to posses cognitive traits those include knowledge and mental abilities.
Cognitive skills of leaders include task/business knowledge that s essential for leaders to complete a particular task. Researchers like Kim et al. (2013) revealed that intelligent leaders make efficient plans, decisions and strategies. Creativity is another cognitive trait that needs to be possessed by effective leaders with which they can be capable to have unique problem solving skills that can offer organizations a competitive advantage. The leaders with cognitive traits also have the capability to solve complex issues and determine the appropriate solution. A farsighted leader is the one who can set goal for an extended term and knows the ways in which such goal can be attained by the organization in future. For instance, Roueche et al. (2014) revealed that in operational decision-making, however the total relationship of cognitive skills is less, the vital behaviors to those it is associated are notable. In such scenario, leaders information analytics skills and their capability to come up with alternative decision options tends to be superior to lower cognitive skills.
The objective of the essay was to evaluate the relationship between traits, motives and effectiveness of leaders. Moreover, the critical evaluation also offered examples from the public domain and the ways in which these are applied in practice was explained with assessing ways the relationship between theory and practice is demonstrated. From the essay, it was gathered that certain personality traits contribute to the effectiveness of the leaders in several situations as long as the leadership style fits the situation in a better manner. Moreover, leaders are observed to have an intense desire to gain a position of responsibility for others and manage them. The desire for needs and motives are evident in four categories including power, efficient work ethics, achievement, drive, resilience and tenacity. The essay also revealed that charismatic and transformational leadership has a huge impact on behavior and performance of leaders those can encourage them to attain common organizational objectives.
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