University of Phoenix
LDR/531 Organizational Leadership
Instructor: Robert Hepler
January 4, 2012
Leadership Approach Paper
The trait model of leadership is based on the characteristics of many leaders - both successful and unsuccessful - and is used to predict leadership effectiveness. The resulting lists of traits are then compared to those of potential leaders to assess their likelihood of success or failure. Scholars taking the trait approach attempted to identify physiological (appearance, height, and weight), demographic (age, education and socioeconomic background), personality, self-confidence, and aggressiveness), intellective (intelligence, decisiveness, judgment, and knowledge), task-related (achievement drive, initiative, and persistence), and social characteristics (sociability and cooperativeness) with leader emergence and leader effectiveness. Among the core traits identified are:
• Achievement drive: High level of effort, high levels of ambition, energy and initiative • Leadership motivation: an intense desire to lead others to reach shared goals • Honesty and integrity: trustworthy, reliable, and open • Self-confidence: Belief in one’s self, ideas, and ability • Cognitive ability: Capable of exercising good judgment, strong analytical abilities, and conceptually skilled • Knowledge of business: Knowledge of industry and other technical matters • Emotional Maturity: well adjusted, does not suffer from severe psychological disorders. • Others: charisma, creativity and flexibility
Strengths/Advantages of Trait Theory
• It is naturally pleasing theory.
• It is valid, as lot of research has validated the foundation and basis of the theory. • It serves as a yardstick against which the leadership traits of an individual can be assessed. • It gives a detailed knowledge and...