MGT 380 Leadership for Organizations
January 6, 2012
Great World Leaders
When I think of great world leaders, certain characteristics and traits come to mind. For someone to be considered a great world leader, they need to have done something special, something that changed society in a major way. Great leaders are not afraid of change or being shunned by society. When I think of great world leaders, I think of Steve Jobs, Apple, CEO because he was passionate about his work, he was inspiring, and he had a clear vision of where he wanted Apple to go. First, it is important that we discuss what leadership means. According to Weiss (2011), most scholars define leadership as “the ability to influence followers to achieve common goals through shared purposes.” (section 1.1, para.6). For a person to be a great leader, they must have the ability to influence and motivate people to work toward an ultimate goal, but why is it that some have this ability while others don’t? Countless studies have been done on leadership to answer this question with varying theories coming from these studies. The most common theories are the trait and personality based theories. I believe a combination of both types is needed for a person to succeed as a leader. A good leader needs to have certain traits that they are born with and personality characteristics that they can evaluate, develop, and improve over time. The trait theories that have been developed show that people are born with certain traits that allow them to excel as leaders. According to Weiss (2011) contemporary researchers have added some new traits to the long list created by early researchers that ring true for Steve Jobs. These traits include optimism, self-confidence, drive, and honesty. (section 1.2, para.5). Although trait theories have been studies for many years and they are widely accepted, they have not been able to show a strong link between a good leader...