Organizational Behaviour

Traits Theory Leadership

Think and Grow Rich

 Traits Theory of Leadership

The Tait 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  Leadership

Scholars taking the trait approach attempted to identify physiologically (appearance, height, and weight), demographic (age, education, and socioeconomic background), personality,.self-confidence, and aggressiveness), intellective (intelligence, decisiveness, judgment, and knowledge), task-related (achievement drive, initiative, and persistence), and social characteristics (sociability and cooperativeness) with leader emergence and leader effectiveness.

Successful leaders definitely have interests, abilities, and personality traits that are different from those of the less effective leaders. Through many types of research conducted in the last three decades of the 20th century, a set of core traits of successful leaders have been identified. These traits are not responsible solely to identify whether a person will be a successful leader or not, but they are essentially seen as preconditions that endow people with leadership potential.

Among the core traits identified are:

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


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 technical matters

Emotional Maturity:

Well adjusted does not suffer from severe psychological disorders.


charisma. creativity and flexibility

Advantages of Trait Theory

  • It is a naturally pleasing theory.
  • It is valid a lot of research has validated the foundation and basis of the theory.
  • It serves as a yardstick against which the leadership traits of an individual can be assessed.
  • It gives a detailed knowledge and understanding of the leader element in the leadership process.

Limitations of The Trait Theory

  • There is bound to be some subjective judgment in determining who is regarded as a ‘good’ or ‘successful’ leader
  • The list of possible traits tends to be very long. More than 100 different traits of successful leaders in various leadership positions have been identified.
  • These descriptions are simply generalities.
  • There is alsb a disagreement over which traits are the most important for an effective leader.
  • The model attempts to relate physical katts such as, height and weight. to effective leadership.
  • Most of these factors relate to situational factors. For example. a minimum weight and height might be necessary to perform the tasks efficiently in a military leadership position.
  • In business organizations. these are not the reqdirements to be an effective leader.
The theory is very complex

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