Leadership Traits

Topics: Leadership, Decision making, Kurt Lewin Pages: 3 (766 words) Published: December 13, 2012

Leadership Traits
Valerie Fryatt
OL 125: Human Relations in Administration
Southern New Hampshire University
November 25, 2012
Professor Margaret Donahue

In this paper, I will describe various leadership traits and styles. I will share my opinion of successful leadership qualities as well as share my own strengths and weaknesses as a leader and my strategies to improve my leadership skills including how this will impact my human relation skills.

A leader, as defined by Merriam-Webster is a person who has commanding authority or influence. There are two types of leaders, formal and informal. A formal leader has a position of authority and uses the power of this position as well as personal power to influence people. Informal leaders do not have a formal position of authority but are able to influence others with personal forms of power (Bauer and Erdogan 2010). In my opinion, the latter is a more natural leader and once given official authority will use it wisely and maintain their integrity with their team.

There are several different leadership theories and styles. The Great Man Theory assumes that great leaders are born and not made (Straker n.d.). This theory makes me think of our Founding Fathers leading their people through a revolution without utilizing dictatorship. The Great Man theory is similar to the Trait Theory as is it based on the traits that people are born with. In essence, leadership traits inherited from parents and grandparents (Straker n.d.). The Kennedy Family comes to mind with this theory. They have several generations of politicians in their family which helps to support the potential finding of a “leadership gene”.

In my opinion, a successful leader is one who has natural leadership skills but remembers to listen to the people they are leading and involving them in the...
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