Leadership - the Trait Approach

Topics: Leadership, Skill, Positive psychology Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: April 20, 2013
Leadership: The Trait Approach
The primary purpose of my leadership final project was to become more familiar with the trait approach. While the trait approach was one of the earliest theories of leadership, I think it is still valid in today's society. I wanted to better understand the trait approach, and learn more about each of the traits within this leadership approach. After reading Chapter 2 in our textbook, I found myself reflecting on various traits and characteristics that I have, as well as traits I need to work on obtaining. I also wanted to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the trait approach. After completing some additional research on the trait approach and re-reading the chapter in our textbook, Leadership, Theory and Practice, I was able to achieve my goal of learning more about the trait approach. The trait approach is very different from other approaches discussed in the textbook because it focuses exclusively on the leader, and not on the followers or the situation. The trait approach is concerned more with what traits leaders exhibit and who has these traits. In addition, this approach emphasizes that a leader with a certain set of traits is crucial to having effective leadership. It is the leader and the leader’s personality that are central to the leadership process. There are several advantages to the trait approach. First, the trait approach fits clearly with our notion that leaders are the individuals who are out in front and leading the way in our society. This approach is consistent with the perception that leaders are a special kind of people, people with gifts who can do extraordinary things. Secondly, the trait approach is one of the oldest theories of leadership, giving it more breadth and depth of research studies to back it up. This gives the trait approach a measure of credibility that other approaches lack. Another advantage is that this approach is devoted solely to the leader component in the...
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