The Leader as an Individual
We all know that people differ in many ways. Some are
quiet and shy while others are gregarious; some are thoughtful and serious while others are impulsive and fun loving.
Differences in personality, attitudes, values, and so forth influence how people interpret an assignment,
whether they like to be told what to do, how they handle challenges, and how they interact with others.
Leaders’ personality and attitudes, as well as their ability to understand individual differences
among employees, can profoundly affect leadership effectiveness.
PERSONALITY AND LEADERSHIP
Some people are consistently pleasant in a variety of situations, while others are moody or aggressive. To explain this behavior, we may say, “ He has a pleasant personality, “
or “She has an aggressive personality.” This is the most common usage
of the term personality, and it refers to an individual’s behavior patterns as well as how the person is viewed by others.
Leaders who have an understanding of how individuals’ personalities differ can use this understanding
to improve their leadership effectiveness.
A MODEL OF PERSONALITY
Research has categorized personality into five general dimensions that seems to best describe personality. These are often called the Big Five dimension of personality:
Quiet, withdrawn Low Extroversion
High Outgoing energetic
Aloof easily irritated Low Agreeableness High Warm, good natured
Impulsive carefree Low
Conscientiousness High Responsible dependable
Moody, tense, Low
Emotional Stability High Stable, confident
Narrow field of Low Openness to Experience High
to new ideas
Likes the tried
LOCUS OF CONTROL
Some people believe that their actions can strongly affect what happens to them. In other words, they believe they are “masters of their own fate.”
Others feel that whatever happens to them in life is a results of luck, chance, or outside people and
events; they believe they have little control over their fate.
Therefore, a person’s Locus of Control defines whether he or she places the primary responsibility
within the self or on outside forces. People who believe their actions
determine what happens to them have a high internal locus of control (internal), while those who believe outside forces determine
what happen to them have a high external locus of control (external).
VALUES AND ATTITUDES
In addition to personality differences, people differ in the values and attitudes they hold. These differences affect the behavior of leaders and followers.
Whether we recognize it of not, we are constantly valuing things, people, or ideas as good or bad,
pleasant or unpleasant, ethical or unethical.
For example, a person who highly values honesty and integrity might lose respect and lessen his commitment
and performance for a leader who tells
When a person has strong values in certain areas, these can have a powerful influence
An attitude is an evaluation - either positive or negative -
about people, events or things.
Behavioral Scientists believe attitudes can be observed thru three components:
can be seen in a leaders’ ideas bout a specific
employee’s performance and ability.
Affect (feelings) can be seen when you observe
how a leader feel about an employee
Behavior (your action) can be observed when
an individual is predisposed to act in a certain way.
Self concept refers
to the collection of attitudes we have about ourselves and includes elements of self esteem whether a person generally has
positive or negative feelings about themselves.
A person with an overall positive self concept has high self esteem, whereas one with negative self
concept has low self esteem.
In general, leaders with positive self concept are more effective in all situations. Leaders who have a negative self concept, who are insecure and have low self esteem, often create environments
that limit other people growth and development.
Every person has some habits, behavior, or attitudes that can limit his or her effectiveness. By understanding your own “Achilles heel” leaders can change their behavior
to improve leadership effectiveness and career success.
HOW CAN THIS BE DONE?
Continuing to remember that Nobody’s perfect and as much as possible try to avoid these weaknesses:
Never feeling quite
“good enough” Many people who seem quite self confident in a lower
level position become frighten and insecure when promoted to a position of leadership because they feel they don’t deserve
Pushing to hard Setting high goals and working hard to achieve them isn’t a bad thing
for a leader. Unfortunately, some people take this too far – they relentlessly
drive themselves, and others to achieve more and more. These people work compulsively
and without joy, and they cause stress and unhappiness for anyone who has to work with or for them.
Being emotionally tone
deaf Unable to feel emotions himself or understand them in others. Not being able to recognize the role of human feelings and motivations in the organization.
The above behavior patterns are potentially fatal flaws for leaders.
However, the texts emphasizes that people can learn to manage their weaknesses and change their behavior thus ensuring
more effective leadership.
text discussed several other characteristics that play a part in leadership such as
Cognitive Differences - Right/Left Brain dominance
The Role of Charisma - People who inspire followers with an
abiding faith, even if the faith can’t be stated in specific goals that are attainable.
versus Transformational Leadership
Due to time constraints I hope you will review these areas on you own.
They will not be part of your test questions.