Leadership Traits

January 10, 2017

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Each person that claims to occupy the leading place in the team should have a range of leadership traits. Thus, the leadership traits define the role of the leader and this explains why some people become established and are ready to inspire and lead, others are not accepted as leader and do not have authority. Leadership traits is a term that defines set of psychological qualities, skills and abilities to interact with the group, which can ensure the successful execution of leadership tasks and functions (Antonakis Cianciolo, & Sternberg, 2004). It is impossible to single out one or two qualities characterize a leader, the list of leadership traits is much longer.

The list of most common leadership traits can include as personal as professional qualities. First of all it is necessary to stress that the leader should be confident in him/herself, know his/her abilities, feelings and emotions. It is necessary to know and feel what is going on inside of the leader, to be able to listen to his/her emotions and feelings, to listen to the intuition and clearly represent what the leader wants – it is the inherent quality of a leader. It helps to navigate through life and to understand other people, it helps not to miss the chance by recognizing the right opportunity. There is a list of leadership most significant traits: self confidence; high level of risk acceptance; able to confront reality; goal oriented; always seek for feedback and listen; take actions and accept responsibility; make decisions and hold forward; can create team; high level of communication skills and flexibility, etc (Tardanico, 2013).

Theory of leadership is the most ancient approach to the study and explanation of leadership. First researches of this direction have tried to analyze leaders and distinguish them from non-leaders. The researchers believe that the leaders had a unique set of fairly stable qualities that distinguished them from non-leaders. Based on this approach, the researchers sought to determine leadership skills, learn how to measure them. They thought that the leader has such set of traits: great mind or intellectual ability; supremacy or dominance over others; self-confidence; he/she is active and energetic; has knowledge of what is he/she doing.

The study of mental or intellectual qualities and their relationship with the leadership held by many scholars, and, in general, the results are the same in that the level of these qualities in a leader is higher than in non-leaders. This proves that the success of a leader depends on his/her abilities and skills to solve problems and make decisions. Personal traits are also important for the leader: charismatic, communicative person has more chance to become successful leader than the person who, for example, cannot speak on public.

Leadership style is a set of characteristics of the leader’s techniques and methods for problem solving and decision making. There are three dominant styles that are most often used for company executives to exercise control over the staff. These include: authoritarian, democratic and liberal leadership styles.

The authoritarian style means complete submission to the leader. In this case, the lower-ranking people have no right to influence opinion leaders and demand an increase of their own powers. The leader is taking all important decisions based solely on his/her own considerations. For authoritarian leader it does not matter how his/her views are shared in the team, he/she does not accept the proposals of subordinates and there is no discussion of the company’s main processes and activities. Staff is managed in accordance with clearly defined instructions.

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The democratic leadership style involves the relative equality in decision-making. Democratic leader belongs to the category of more humane leaders, as in the decision is open to all comers, but the final decision, no doubt, depends primarily from the leader. The democratic model is gaining popularity among many global companies, as with such leadership style usage each team member can feel important and as a result, be highly motivated with the high level of engagement in the company’s life.

Liberal leadership style can be described as creation of family at work. The leader removes him/herself from the management of the work processes. Subordinate determine what to do by themselves. This leadership style is characterized by the absence of praise and punishment and of the cooperation absence between the leader and subordinates. Liberal leadership style involves activities separately from the whole team, the leader does not give commands, and staff does not feel the pressure from management (Campbell, & Kodz, 2011). The work consists of the individual interests of the members of the group.

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The leadership style is developing in accordance to the personal qualities of a leader. Every effective leader understands that there is no any perfect leadership styles, different styles should be used in different situations. Therefore, the leadership style is one that the person uses dominantly, however, can easily change it in accordance to the situation. In order to be effective and successful leader, person should develop his/her qualities: rise communication abilities, develop flexibility and study. Studying is a key element that can help leader to be the one he/she is willing to be.

According to my personality I prefer to be democratic leader, because I think it is the one that can give the highest level of effectiveness within performance management. However, I am flexible person and understand that sometimes in different situations and with different people, usage of authoritative style can bring more effectiveness. Therefore, my leadership style is almost depending on the situation I am in. I think that the most important leadership traits are: self-confidence, intelligence, ability to take responsibility, high level of communication skills and ability to unite team through motivation and encouragement.