How can personality traits influence leadership?
Leadership theories were based on outstanding leaders that were just “average.” There was an argument that personality traits do not influence their leadership skills. This was interesting because I often describe a leader as uplifting, dependable, organized, and always willing to take tasks. Even though we have bad days we sometimes have drifts in our personalities. We sometimes do not want to deal with people but that does not mean we are not a leader still.
“Big Five Model of Personality”
1. Neuroticism-tend to be anxious, worried, and depressed, and may have other problems like obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
2. Extraversion- like to socialize with others, but they are also more likely to be energetic, active, and assertive.
3. Openness to Experience- with the idea of being a leader it sometimes requires adaption to change, willingness to try new strategies, and the need to be innovative, it makes sense that Openness should be a component of effective leadership.
4. Agreeableness- related to cooperation, altruism, interpersonal sensitivity, and the need to be liked. Also being able to get along is key.
5. Conscientiousness- being willing, working hard, and completes tasks This is being able to stay positive and not negative in the workplace.
Out of these five traits I believe being open and extraversion are key for a leader. Leaders need to be able to be open to comments and suggestions to develop new plans and strategies that will be a positive impact.
With being a leader comes being proactive. For example, my old boss was not the best leader because she always wanted me to solve the problems when she actually needed too. She was always in a bad mood and nothing would ever make her happy. I would make suggestions to do something different with the store and she would not want change. This was actually frustrating because I did research of ways to make the store better. Did she want to do anything about it? No. I wanted to give up but I was not going to be the one to tell her. She just could not solve issues that needed to be resolved. I think if she was actually proactive about change this would have made her a better boss. She just did not like change which is why we had our differences.
This chapter really made me reflect on the hows and whys of being a leader along with personality traits. We all want to be a proactive leader that solves issues, being an influence on others, and overall making rational decisions. These past two chapters have made me stop and realize how am I a leader?