TRAIT THEORY OF LEADERSHIP
• 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.
• Trait theory of leadership differentiates leaders from non leaders by focusing on personal qualities and characteristics. • Trait theory of leadership sought personality, social, physical and intellectual traits.
• Trait theory assumes that leaders are born.
Characteristic of Successful leaders
• 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
• Emotional Maturity: well adjusted, does not suffer from severe psychological disorders.
Traits are classified into five categories:
• Physical traits like age, height, weight,
• Social status and experience
• Task Orientation
• Personality characteristics:
- Ambition and energy
-Desire to lead
-Honesty and integrity
- Job relevant knowledge etc.
• Trait theorists refers to people like Father
of nation M.K. Gandhi, Indira Gandhi,
Margrat Thracher, Nelson Mandela,
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson, Apple
Co-founder Steve Jobs, Ratan Tata of the
Tata Group, Azim Premji of Wipro,
Narayana Murthy of Infosys etc.
Example for Theory:
• Mahatma Gandhi was the born leader according to trait
theorist . He was the born leader along with some
qualities which he improves with the situation and
requirement of the society.
• Mahatma Gandhi had all characteristics of a trait
• Ambition and Energy: Mahatma had a big ambition to get
freedom. He made his objective or target to make INDIA
as a sovereign country. And he did so. He provides his all
effort to the people to make Unity in Diversity.
• Desire to Lead: The leader is that who has a desire to
lead the people. And Gandhiji leaded the Indian public.
When he gone to the South Africa and the see condition of
black people, he decided he will destroy these inequalities. • Honesty and Integrity: Gandhiji was very honest as we
all know and he was honest to his work, to his family, to his goal and to the Indians. He saw all people of India equal. It is very essential to a leader to have honesty towards his
goal and the work.
• Self confidence: Gandhiji was very confident that he will succeed to provide the freedom to all of us. He worked
hard and so smartly to achieve his goal of freedom. He did
Dandi March in 1929 to make the salt in Gujarat that
shows his self confidence.
• Intelligence: Gandhiji was very intelligent leader.
As he gave principle of Truth and Nonviolent to
the people. He had a good negotiation skill. He
was well educated person. He used to take
• Job relevant knowledge: M.K. Gandhi was
clearly knew that what should he do, when should
he do the tasks to achieve the objective. The
leaders should have the job relevant knowledge.
• Besides it Gandhiji had done pune pact, Bharat
chhodo andolan, Sattyagrah etc. that shows his
leadership skill which him the greatest leader.
Today, also people follow him.
• The traits approach gives rise to questions: whether
leaders are born or made; and whether leadership is an art
• These are not mutually exclusive alternatives. Leadership may be something of an art; it still requires the...
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