Leadership is described as the process of influencing others via assistance and support aimed at goals accomplishment. It is about directing human resource to achieve objectives. As such, a leader refers to an individual followed by others freely exhibiting given powers and traits to direct and guide people in an effective manner. The basis of leadership is theories that involve principles, powers, conduct, occupation intelligence and personality (Northouse, 2012). Amongst varying leaders, the traits of leadership differ. In such a case, companies should be able to understand an individual could be effective in one activity but ineffective in others in accordance to the traits needed per activity (Shankman & Allen, 2008). As such, leadership is a conceptual relationship that exists between people from different cultural and social groups. A multinational company should manage HR from different cultures and as such, it needs to study personalities and other factors that are imperative. Charismatic leadership is linked to self tests, consistency, public power interest, self achievement drive and impressive management. Leaders who exhibit these traits are straight, effective and they also motivate others into performance (Jung & Sosik, 2006). Generally, leadership is subjective to situations, effective role determining persistence, confidence, alertness, friendliness and responsibility as well as personal traits. However, it is important for a company to note the trait of a leader should be relevant to their performance efficiency situation. This best defined how well they are able to achieve their set objectives.
Culture and leadership are interconnected and it is the base to success and improved performance. For example, in an organization, a culture of safety is a reflection of measures that are taken by all members for the purpose of improving safety standards. A leader should recognize cultural aspects in their influences and strengths towards an organization so as to initiate change in an effective manner. This aids managers in cutting costs in relation to time as well as other resources that result from implementation of poor strategies. As such, a leader is supposed to appreciate and identify the interests of each individual within an organization in order to accommodate the views they have (Northouse, 2012). Culture also helps an individual understand behaviors so they are able to educate employees, seek support, evaluate success as well as encourage people. The culture of a company is influenced to a great extent by leaders who exert powers and they induce everyone into working on set conditions and terms. Consequently, leadership shapes the success and culture of organizations via quality assertive strategies and change (Zaccaro, Kemp, & Bader, 2004). Leaders also have the responsibility for the vision of an organization and as such, it schemes towards achieving these targets and goals. The enthusiasm of the leaders towards occurrences determines just how effective members of the team are towards implementing strategies that guarantee organizational success. Leaders also assume the responsibility for tasks involving different kinds of risks. They are supposed to make decisions on the basis of abilities portrayed by staff and their capacity in completing a task. As such, leadership is about interpersonal stress absorption and tolerance to attain goals.
There are various personal capabilities and attributes that characterize leadership and which are of great importance in making other individuals react in a given manner. The approach that is most effective in study of leadership is trait theory because of its importance in determination of actions and behavior. Research on traits possessed by individuals suggests individuals have different qualities which fit different situations (Northouse, 2012). Trait analysis therefore is of great importance while managers attempt to decide who should perform which task in order to guarantee success (Jung & Sosik, 2006). Meta-analysis equips leaders with new methods of performance and knowledge. Leadership traits include:
- Intelligence-This is the intellectual ability leaders have over non-leaders. Research concludes it is excellent for leaders to have strong perceptual, verbal and reasoning capabilities. However, in order to ensure coherence and understanding, the intellectual capacity of a leader should not be much different from that of subordinates. This is important towards guaranteeing a parallel understanding of goals as well as the company’s vision and its strategies. Leaders are supposed to use communication skills effectively in order to influence employees be it internationally or locally. Cultural diversity should also bring different kinds of ideologies to management and as such leaders should appreciate the beliefs of others and their traditions in making decisions. International leadership also necessitates the combination of different intelligence skills as well as perspectives to solve organizational and social issues.
- Self confidence-. In leadership, this trait is vital. It is a denotation of the ability of being self-assured of competencies, confident and skills one has towards a given task. It is a trait that establishes one’s self assurance, self esteem and that they can make a difference. Self confidence also gives a leader the morale that is needed to carry on with the attempt of influencing others to complete definite directives. Self confidence does not leave room for doubt and as such, managers are able to create an atmosphere that is comparable within the organization. In order to benefit from this kind of trait, quality decisions should be made to ensure work done is related to the goals of the organization (Zaccaro, 2007).
- Determination-This is the desire that leaders exhibit to complete tasks. Some of the personalities of determination include enterprise, persistence, control and authority. Leaders with this trait are proactive, assertive and always ready for perseverance through obstacles and harsh conditions. As such, leaders should be determined at all times to direct their followers.
- Integrity-this is the trait of being faithful and responsible. It is shown by the readiness of following set principles and taking accountability for actions. Leaders who have this trait inspire self-confidence in followers as there is trust regarding what is expected from them. This builds dependability, loyalty and trustworthiness for everyone. Integrity guarantees business functions will get completed in an effective manner and on time. Responsibilities are divided successfully among the varying employees and departments or branches for common goals.
- Sociability-The Company is supposed to test this trait which is dependent on relational aspects demonstrated by an individual. Leadership revolves around creation and maintenance of relationships with employees and clients alike. Leaders who are sensitive, polite, tactful and friendly are likely to improve relations in organizations. As such, social leaders are characterized by great interpersonal skills for cooperation that is effective with followers. This trait ensures that the followers are able to feel the openness, presence and accessibility of their leader.
- Charisma Model
Personality is an aspect that cannot be explained easily as it needs analysis of different aspects in order to know the qualities that are exhibited for certain activities. Research has devised several models that can be put to use to evaluate personality. Among these is neuroticism which means the inclination of feeling apprehensive, insecure or depressed about a given situation. Openness factor is one that creates an atmosphere with curious initiatives and insights. Extraversion factor established assertiveness and sociability for a force that is positive in organizations. Agreeableness influenced conformity, trustworthiness, and acceptance and this behavior is encouraged by leaders. The model, lastly noted the conscientiousness makes it possible for the leaders to be structured, systematic, decisive and reliable in all their dealings. Personal thinking and emotions are also known to affect individuality. The responsibility of understanding and application lied in emotional intelligence (Zaccaro, 2007). Effective leaders have the capability of managing emotions as such they are able to approach others with dignity. Leadership revolves around personal competence that consists of self control, self awareness and self motivation for purposes of solving conflicts (Northouse, 2012). Leaders therefore should be mindful of self, the environment as well as capacities of others. This includes ability of persuading and initiating collaboration.
Leadership Analysis Mechanism
In order to evaluate traits of leadership in job candidates, companies can use questionnaires for purposes of assessing the abilities and characteristics of the individuals. For example,, use of Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is of great use in provision of valuable and reliable information regarding the attributes of an individual and the functional areas an individual fits into within an organization. Assessing personalities of leadership can be valuable if the LTQ (Leadership Trait Questionnaire is effectively applied to applicants of a job (Northouse, 2012). This involves quantifying the perceptions of the leader towards given observations along with the actions of the subordinates. This move points out areas of weakness or personal strength portrayed by a candidate. The organization is supposed to involve a couple of people in the process of evaluation including the persistence, confidence and determination of leader. Scores should then be awarded in accordance to qualities and understanding demonstrated.
In society, leaders are the mirror and as such, people are supposed to view them as successful and gifted. As such, selection of leaders ought to be done on the basis of functions and traits needed for them to guarantee success. This embraces evaluation and assessment that fits the needs of the organization globally and locally. Management however, should recognize traits are not necessarily common in all individuals hence potential leaders should be interviewed on the basis of attributed needed. The most important principle is the fact that individuals susceptible to their feelings and the kind of effect they have on others are often the most effective leaders (Zaccaro et al., 2004) all leaders therefore should be flexible so as to ensure there is change in the situations of employee personal needs.
Jung, D. D., & Sosik, J. J. (2006). Who are the spellbinders? Identifying personal attributes of charismatic leaders. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 12(4), 12-26.
Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Shankman, M. L., & Allen, S. J. (2008). Emotionally intelligent leadership: A guide for college students. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Zaccaro, S. J. (2007). Trait-based perspectives of leadership. American Psychologist, 62, 6-16.
Zaccaro, S. J., Kemp, C., & Bader, P. (2004). Leader traits and attributes. In J. Antonakis, A. T. Cianciolo, & R. J. Sternberg (Eds.), The nature of leadership (pp. 101–124). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.