Typical Leadership Traits

The five leadership traits that consistently reappear in many of these studies are:

  • intelligence,
  • self-confidence,
  • determination,
  • integrity, and
  • sociability.

Lists of ability and physical characteristics included such things as speech fluency and height or body type (Knes, 2009).

iDevice icon Reflection

Peter Drucker, a key figure in the modern management movement, was skeptical about studying the qualities of leaders. He believed that a leader cannot be categorized by a particular personality type, style, or set of traits. Instead, a leader should be understood in terms of his or her constituents, results, behaviors, and responsibilities (DuBrin, 2009, p.59).

Take a minute and think: do you believe that personality type, style, or set of traits are important components in leadership?

Share your opinion with your study group or with your teacher/tutor.

Sirje Virkus, Tallinn University, 2009