As seen today, comments and views clearly says a lot about popular notions and opinions on personality traits and leadership qualities. We have heard many of the following cliché; “Leadership is ability”, “I’m a natural born leader”, “Leadership – it is not taught”, “Leaders are born”, and many more. These thoughts may be diverse, vast and always open to debates but it is certain that we are wired in certain ways and the personalities and leadership qualities we possess is connected in a particular way – either in a latent or obvious manner.
In that order, personality traits mirror individual’s characteristic manner of thoughts, behaviors and feelings. These traits typify stability and coherence; and is hinged on the fact that people differ from one another with regards to particular situations and given certain conditions. Personality traits are simply viewed in terms of extroversion and introversion but specifically extends beyond that. A personality quiz can help confirm if you are introverted, extroverted or simply an “ambivert”. Classically, the most adopted system of traits called the Five-Factor Model remains helpful in understanding leadership qualities better. OCEAN – an acronym for Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism are components of the model which are combinations of specific traits that often relate together; well suited for analysis of people’s personality.
The question is how are these traits connected to the leadership qualities an individual embodies? For instance, people who are very open are generally inquisitive, imaginative, creative and receptive to new ideas and thoughts. This characteristic ability makes such individuals challengers of the norm and are perfect leaders in the 21st century. Individuals with high degree of Openness are receptive to disruptive ideas, innovation and are perceived as sophisticated. In fact, Openness is agreed to be related to change.
Similarly, a Conscientious individual is well-behaved, reliable, vigilant and well-organized with an eye for detail and planning. These traits make such individual high-achievers as they are often keen to detail and strategy; a key distinguishing leadership quality. High Conscientious individuals are tilted towards task; are reliable, self-disciplined and providers of guidance and support to many other individuals.
In addition, an Extroverted individual is lively, sociable, talkative and happy. These individuals – Extroverts, are known to work and function on collaborative basis and are confident doing so. This personality trait refines their leadership qualities as they possess high degree of social ability and person skills.
Agreeableness as a trait is indeed important. People with these traits are seen as awesome leaders as they are polite, accommodating, amicable and forbearing. Often, they empathize better with people and are well known to have a huge follower base.
Individuals with neurotic personality traits are less likely to be effective leaders as they may be self-doubting and highly irritated in certain conditions. Neurotic individuals are less likely to be emotionally stable and are capable of being anxious, upset and uncomfortable. Without doubt, these personality traits largely determine leadership qualities of individuals consciously or otherwise. However, individuals can improve on possible weakness detailed in researches and other resources.