In the 19th century, most notable are the writings of Thomas Carlyle and Francis Galton. In Heroes and Hero Worship (1841), Carlyle identified the talents, skills, and physical characteristics of men who rose to power. In Galton's Hereditary Genius (1869), he examined leadership qualities in the families of powerful men. Galton concluded that leadership was inherited, this is called Trait Leadership (Jago, 1982), in that it was once common to believe that leaders were born rather than made. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership knowledge and skills. This is called Process Leadership (Jago, 1982).
The skills and knowledge processed by the leader can be influenced by his or hers attributes or traits, such as beliefs, values, ethics, and character. Knowledge and skills contribute directly to the process of leadership, while the other attributes give the leader certain characteristics that make him or her unique.
There are many theories on leadership and while no one theory is dominant, you'll find that some are definitely more popular than others. In this section, you explore how leadership thinking has developed in the last 50 years ("Chapter 2 - Approaches to leadership," 2008): Trait approach:
This idea is based on that leaders are born naturally, not trained. The other problem with this approach is that it tends to discourage the idea that people can be developed to be leaders, which is clearly not the view today. Traits: such as intelligence, beliefs, values, ethics, and personality 5 key foundational factors (Kowalski & Yoder-Wise, 2003) that make a difference that shape us as leaders: The 5 Cs of Leadership|
Character| The core of who you are| |
Commitment| A promise or pledge| |
Connectedness| Being in relationship with others| |