Northouse Paper

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  • Topic: Leadership, Management, Situational leadership theory
  • Pages : 3 (846 words )
  • Download(s) : 131
  • Published : October 1, 2012
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The trait approach to leadership is a hopeless and inadequate method and way to view leadership. There is no way to measure the effectiveness of an individual’s leadership skills according to this theory. Since the list of leadership traits is virtually endless, this approach seems to be rather inadequate. It is impossible to find anyone who would possess all these traits.

The questions that then rises is how many of these “endless traits” would someone need to possess in order to be considered an effective leader? By the same token, since there are numerous characteristics on this list, it would be safe to say that nearly everyone would exhibit several of these qualities and, therefore, suitable for a leadership position. However, this is not the case and definitely not what the trait approach suggests. The trait approach is the belief that leaders are gifted individuals who stand out from everyone else (Northouse, 30).

Hypothetically speaking, if the trait approach was a leadership theory that was accurate and true, then many individuals who do not possess certain personality traits would have no hope in becoming a leader. Talk about a depressing situation. I strongly disagree with this approach and way of thinking about leadership. I would argue that some characteristics that individuals naturally possess may assist them in leading others, but these traits are not a necessity to becoming an effective leader. For example, some of traits on the Leadership Trait Questionnaire are friendly, sensitive, and empathic (Northouse, 38). These characteristics are most definitely important in a leader and feel they tie into the idea servant leadership and would argue that it is much more effective in determining a leader’s potential than the idea of the trait approach.

I connected to the style of servant leadership a great deal. The thing that attracted me to this theory of leadership is that it coincides with our mission as followers of Christ which is...
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