Leadership: Theory , Traits and Practice Paper


1) What does leadership mean to you personally?

2) List 5 leaders and why they are leaders in their field. (Remember, even people you personally know can be listed, not just those in the field of business) I want you list Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr, Mary Kay, Oprah Winfrey, Jesus Christ, You can change the last if you want, or other of them Leadership: Theory , Traits and Practice Paper.

3) Describe the differences between assigned leadership and emergent leadership. Give examples of both.

4) What are the Big 5 personality factors and how do they relate to leadership?


5) What are strengths of the trait approach?

6) What are criticisms of the trait approach?

For the last 4 questions you should use this book leadership 7 ed pdf the attached

You will find a pdf version that looks like this leadership 7 ed Sara Nilsson Leadership


Meaning of Leadership

In my view, leadership entails influencing people to do something in order to achieve a specific goal.

Examples of Leaders

Billy Graham – He was a leader since he influenced millions of people to adhere to biblical teachings in order to remain holy, as required by God.
Martin Luther King Jr- He led the African Americans in the fight against denial of civil rights.
Mary Kay Ash- She was a leader who brought together workers and influenced them to work hard to achieve success in the business of cosmetics.
Oprah Winfrey- She is a leader in the media industry who inspires the listeners to work hard to achieve success in life.
Steve Jobs- He is a leader who has influenced the subordinates to follow specific vision that has led to the success of firms such as Apple, Inc.
Assigned vs emergent leadership

Assigned leadership is one in which a person is selected to hold a position in an organization. Examples of assigned leaders are managers, directors, supervisors and plant managers. Conversely, emergent leadership does not occur through selection. Rather, it is gained through influence on other people during interactions (Northouse, 2007). An example is a person who volunteers to communicate about the views of the others to the management Leadership: Theory , Traits and Practice Paper.

The Big 5 Personality Factors

The big 5 personality traits are neuroticism, agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness and openness to experience. Neuroticism influences a leader’s level of hostility, depression and feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Agreeableness influences qualities such as trusting, conforming, nurturing and accepting (Northouse, 2007). Extroversion influences the tendency to have positive energy, and to be assertive and sociable, which are necessary for a successful leader. Conscientiousness influences the tendency to be decisive, dependable, controlled, organized and thorough. Last, openness to experience influences the tendency to be curious, insightful, creative and informed.

Trait Approach Strengths

One of the strengths of the approach is that it is based on findings from research done over a century. Second, it appeals to the widely held notion that leaders are different. Third, it applies in all level of leadership within organizations. Fourth, it is based on traits that can be improved by a person to become a better leader (Northouse, 2007). Last, the approach gives a benchmark about the traits that people should look at when choosing a leader.

Trait Approach Criticisms

The studies that it is based on have produced inconsistent results. Some have produced uncertain outcomes. Second, the approach fails to consider different situations and their leadership requirements. Third, the approach does not consider the results of leadership studies, such as employee satisfaction and productivity (Northouse, 2007). As well, the traits described in the approach are difficult to teach since they are fixed psychological structures. Last, there is a high level of subjective interpretation of traits in the approach.


Northouse, P. G. (2007). Leadership: Theory and Practice, Seventh Edition. Thousand oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc Leadership: Theory , Traits and Practice Paper.

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