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January 22, 2015 by Laura J Eisenhower 1 Comment As I gain more insight regarding leadership and what it takes to be an ideal leader, I feel it is important to stress the point that all leaders are still human. To further validate this issue, as public citizens we hold our leaders to high standards, and they should indeed serve as an example to the public, by distancing themselves from activities that will thrust them into an unfavorable public spotlight. It probably seems as though I am defending politicians, presidents, and every other leader involved in a scandal, but I assure you that is not my intended goal in this post.
Northouse (2013) wrote that Stogdill performed two survey trying to identify what traits individuals have to lead successfully.  The first survey was between 1904 and 1947 and the second survey was completed from 1948 to 1970 (p.
Although the leader should initiate the activities, one of the followers may become the emergent leader (a team member that communicates successfully with others, Northouse, 2013, p. The self-confidence trait is the one trait that I am still working on.  However, it does take self-confidence to admit that a person cannot do all of the assignments themselves and ask for assistance in order to complete the project. March 9, 2014 by Shaheeda R Wilks 1 Comment I recently had an assignment in a communications course I am currently taking.
To refresh your memory the trait approach emphasizes the critical role of traits in effective leadership (Northouse, 2013). People motivated by power need to influence others to direct, guide, reward or punish them. Today, I read a quote in my Facebook page from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science that left me thinking.
The study of leadership should be oriented not only to the examination of successful leaders, or to determine what traits, personality, or psychological profile those people had. I find the Psychodynamic approach particularly troubling as a tool to achieve successful leadership, especially in a working environment. My little knowledge about leadership tells me that there may be better ways to explore leadership rather than falling into limited classifications of traits and not very reliable personality characters. When I think about what traits make a good leader I think about the bosses and managers that I have had in my work experience.
Another important thing that helped me connect with manager A was their confident and outgoing attitude. While an extraverted person is not necessarily a good leader, I have found in my experience that it definitely helps make them a better one. Since I have worked in different parts of the world, I have had a diversity of bosses, female and male, from different cultures.
A humble leadership style of supervision produces more satisfaction among employees (van der Meer, 2012). However, when we elect a leader and then show disapproval at his or her choices, we try to assuage our own feelings of inferiority in electing a human leader by barraging the leader with our objections to his or her behaviors or policies.
Those who engage in activities that could affect public security or are squandering public money for personal use, etc., are by no means entitled to a free pass.
40).  One negative aspect is there is not a “definitive list of leadership traits” (Northouse, 2013, p.
The assignment was to find an article of interest, analyze it and make a 7-10 minute presentation. It furthermore generates the idea that leaders are born and not made (Northouse, 2013) The article I analyzed basically recognized must have traits needed be a successful leader, CEO’s in particular. Organizations want leaders who will effective use these qualities during the leadership process. However, he is not only charismatic but also transformational with some defined characteristics. It should explore what situations in which a person was able to lead arrived to successful outcomes for the benefit of the whole team, group, institution country, or any other entity of interest. This presents a real problem to the goal of generalizing because the data is not valid from the scientific point of view (Northouse, 2010, p. It requires people to talk about their relationships and open up in an intimate way, and this is difficult for many people (Stech, 2004, p. At times it is absurdly low, as when in 1959 Mann classified leaders and non-leaders by six traits: intelligence, masculinity, adjustment, dominance, extraversion, and conservatism.
I am looking forward to learn about other approaches closer to Northouse’s definition of leadership, as a process, or interactive not linear event, that involves influences, occurs within groups, involves common goals, and is available to everyone (Northouse, 2010, p. I have experienced both bad and good leaders and many more in the middle, but to me all the good ones were approachable and decisive. 4), says that there are five main factors that most traits can be categorized under, conscientiousness, agreeableness, neuroticism, openness to experience, and extraversion.
I enjoyed talking to this manager and even liked seeing them outside of work as they were just enjoyable to be around. It makes them easy to interact with, and the confidence that comes with it makes them easier to follow.
Thinking back, I wonder what made some of those people better leaders, and others to be less effective and often hated. However, these are common characteristics of anybody interested in communicating to others effectively . And I had the privilege of working with extremely talented cartoon animation movie directors.
It certainly motivated us to comply with the work; it pushed us to be responsible equal team players and share the goal of finishing the project on time and with pride.
In grade school it may mean taking the lead on a small project, in College I might try and lead a group through an assignment, as a father I try to lead my 6 year old down the right path by setting examples of good behavior, manners, etc. My job is to be an expert on everything we offer as a company, and I mostly work with the sales team to train them on technique to increase their sales ability. This entire semester we have spent time reading and analyzing types of leadership that are may be complex in theory but basically focus on what we might expect a leader to look like.
About 2 months ago I started working for an up and coming internet company based here in Chicago.


You mean to tell me that if I disagree with you, as my manager, you want to tell you I think your wrong and do things my own way.
With that being said, what good does exposing an affair or some similar transgression to the public really do?
I will be the first person to admit I am a bit apathetic regarding voting anymore, because I have found that no matter who is chosen to lead, no one person is going suit everyone. What I am trying to convey is that leaders should hold themselves to a higher level of character, but also they are going to make mistakes or decisions that do not please every single person over which they exercise power; because they are humans, not gods. 20).  In my leadership assignments, I have tried to use all of these traits to lead the team at one time or another. I always like to refer to ideas that I am familiar with, and happened to come across an article titled Leadership Qualities that Matter the Most: Lessons from Davos 2014.
The article starts out with questions like, What are the implications for leadership?, and, What qualities will CEOs need to succeed in this more demanding world?
Everyone of course, cannot possess these qualities, which suggest that leaders are very special people.
The role of the community organizer is to enable people to gather to advocate and secure the attainment of specific goals.
According to the transformational theory, rhetorical and organizational skills, as many behaviors, can be taught and learned (Penn State).
I met many of his followers, people so motivated to work for idealized goals and go beyond their own self-interest (working long hours for free) for the sake of the organization. And it should find ways in which the common woman and man could find their own virtues and the strength needed to lead or follow, as best would suit their interest, and thrive by doing it. However, with with manager B, who came across as aloof, and quite honestly a little odd, I was more reluctant to go see him because communication with him was really difficult. It is as difficult to find a common set of traits among all those individual, as to imagine them becoming leaders in environments with different characteristics than the ones they worked in because as Northouse suggests, leadership is a complex process subjected to many variables such as situations, environments, times, and so much more (Northouse, 2010, chap.1) It would be important to mention that I worked in an ambience of high creative culture. But there is a distinct trait I can identify in every of those leaders which is not part of Stogdill’s list, nor the list provided by Northouse with a summary of the most common traits identified by researchers (2010). Plus, humility from the part of our leader invited us to imitate him or her and collaborate doing activities that did not belong to our specific area with the common purpose of finishing the project successfully. The impact of narcissistic and humble leadership styles: Examining employee satisfaction and the role of the family business (Doctoral dissertation, J?nk?ping University). As a professional, I am starting to learn each and every day what type of leader I really am.
As a trainer, I have to adjust my training depending on the audience, and their current knowledge level. The answer is, as long as it’s helping me progress to my goal in a positive way, then yes! I am not making excuses for these individuals, but rather pointing out the fact that as long as we elect humans to positions of leadership, we will have to deal with the fallout of human nature. I started reading through the article and found it very interesting and very similar to the trait approach discussed during week two of our Leadership Theory course. The article suggests that leaders who possess these traits have a higher probability to performing better.
President Obama, as a presidential campaigner, acted as a transformational and charismatic leader. We could assume this was a consequence of his strong desire to influence others, his self-confidence and dominance, all personal characteristics of a charismatic leader (Penn State). Only a great transformational charismatic leader would accomplish success in that manner (Penn State). It does not use the procedures of standard social science practices such as quantitative and qualitative research methods (Stech, 2004). I never felt like I was put in a scenario that I couldn’t succeed in or spend time doing things that were a complete waste of my time.
When I worked for manager A, who had a drive to succeed and was decisive in their actions, I found that I was much more productive and enjoyed working with them more.
The timid nature at which he answered my questions also made me question if he was giving me direction, or asking me a question. Paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Atlanta, GA. Let’s remember again that any course of action a leader may take is subjected to many other variables, as Northouse prefers to define leadership (Northouse, 2010). If I don’t come across as extremely competent in my teachings, then nothing from my trainings will be retained. For example, a training I do for management looks and sounds much different than one I do for other employees.
But just because someone is a manager, and has position power, doesn’t make them a leader. Because while this leader may share many of our opinions and sentiments, he or she is still not a clone of us, and still makes human decisions and mistakes of his or her own accord.
These individuals are held to a higher expectancy, which he or she should do their best to exemplify, but will still fail at some point in time, just as we all do. The article pertains to the 2014 World Economic Forum which holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Leadership judgment was found to be a must have because of the wealth of information available today. On the other hand, this approach is based on psychology of the abnormal; the work of Sigmund Freud (Northouse, 2010, p.
Since emotional responses are a big part of the approach, leaders are moved to open up and confront their issue in training sessions and real life situations (Stech, 2004, p. On the other hand, when I think about the bad managers I have had, I quickly am reminded of the horrible indecisive, overly people pleasing manner in which they managed.


Even though he was experienced and a knowledgeable person he never came across that way which damaged the respect he had from his employees. But in this particular case, among very creative people, humility and humbleness was very much appreciated.
Because people look up to me at my company, I would consider myself a leader within the organization. Overall however, I try to take a transformational approach in an effort to gain more personal power.
Employees at my level in the company have ownership in the company, take pride in innovation, and have an honest desire to help those around them grow.
They tell me, we hired you because we trust your ability to do this job at a high level, and we trust your decisions. We often feel elated when our chosen leader is elected to power, but I am sure the majority can name one decision that was made by their chosen candidate that was unexpected and not consistent with what they envisioned. The main reason we hear so much dramatic news regarding leader’s faults is that they are sought out by those looking to maim reputations, and are then broadcasted all over the media so the public is informed of these indiscretions.
The forum brings business and political leaders as well as journalist and great thinkers together to examine international issues.
Leaders need to be able to sift through the fluff and recognize key points allowing them to make important decisions. And he motivated voters to share his vision as only a good transformational leader could do (Penn State). Personal power however, is the influence capacity a leader gets from being seen by followers as knowledgeable, or likeable.
As a leader, but also a trainer, my main goal is to initiate positive change so people can be more effective at their job.
My manager is absolutely a servant leader and I just didn’t realize it until I read through this section of of the text. We studied the five trait approach to leadership in Chapter 2 this week, citing that leaders should possess determination, integrity, intelligence, sociability, and self-confidence (Northouse, 2013).
Many of us would likely also make the news with our mistakes as well if we were scrutinized by media outlets as well. The topic of leadership qualities was one of the issues that were addressed at the WEF, whose theme was “Resilient Dynamism”.
And through his work and the work of his followers he achieved success, while his followers felt they did too. I knew that I could meet with them and get an answer without having to go and discuss with them for hours then come back later after they thought about it. By acting as a transformational leader, people will believe that I have their growth and development above my own, which is true.
Servant leadership has a prescriptive overtone that implies that good leaders put others first (Northouse pg.235).
The focus is on my personal growth first, while my manager focuses on building a team of great, independent people. Everyone does things he or she is not proud of, but most of us can luckily deal with such issues in private, rather than have our every move scrutinized by millions of spectators waiting eagerly for a leader to fail, or show their human nature.
While every person can possess these traits, he or she may not necessarily make an ideal leader, and must not be solely assessed in character simply because of this criteria. Point being, we cannot expect our human leaders to be flawless, but we also must realize that simply because a leader exemplifies all the leadership traits we expect, does not necessarily mean he or she has a matching personality. It does not acknowledge that to arrive to leadership other elements such as the culture of the organization, organizational factors, and other singular challenges may intervene in the process (Northouse, 2010, p.
These recognition and acceptance of each other’s personality at time gives space to jokes and fun. Unlike with manager B who I dreaded even going up to office to ask a question to due to the fact he would go back and forth and took forever to make a decision or even progress to answering my question; leaving me feel like valuable time was being wasted. When working for this type of leader myself, I have found that I am more motivated by my own success because I don’t want to let that leader down.
When evaluating some of the traits of servant leaders some of the ones that stick out to me is empathy and listening. Political commentator James Carville has said that ever since the Watergate scandal, the media often seek out any situation that can be made into a political scandal, as every reporter or editor wants to be responsible for the next big story that brings down a leader or elicits political change, thus stirring up false rumors to get a story (Ginsberg, Schefter, 1999). For example, Hitler may have been viewed as a great leader at the time of his reign, but that did not necessarily make him a good person, as we are all familiar with what he managed to accomplish via his leadership power.
Such an openness leads to a delicate issue, ethics, since the intimate life of the individuals should not be used to abuse or misuse in favor or against the person (Stech, 2004, p. He clearly demonstrated the dark trait, fear of failure defined by the lesson commentary (PSU WC, L 2., p.
My manager always asks my opinion on feedback, tells me to tell her what I need to be more successful, and asks me to be honest with her if I ever disagree. Like Stogdill’s 1974 survey, it is very important for a leader to understand how they think and feel as well as what motivates them. What about when there is a job position in between of those emotions unethically manipulated?
With no way to depict ones integrity, organizations look for people who tend to avoid temptations and constant distractions.
The article suggests asking questions like, Can they understand how their actions and what they say (or even imply) could potentially impact others inside and outside the organization. All three qualities relate to  how a leader performs through tough times and overcome obstacles.



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