Trait Theories

  1. 1 Summarize the conclusions of trait theories of leadership.

Throughout history, strong leaders have been described by their traits. ­Therefore, leadership research has long sought to identify the personality, ­social, physical, or intellectual attributes that differentiate leaders from ­nonleaders. Trait theories of leadership focus on personal qualities and ­characteristics. Leadership emergence and effectiveness are often evaluated separately vis-à-vis trait studies.

For personality, a comprehensive review of the leadership literature ­organized around the Big Five framework has found extraversion to be the most predictive trait of effective leadership.1 However, extraversion sometimes relates more to the way leaders emerge ...

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