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Traits, motives and
characteristics of leadership
Traits, motives and characteristics of
1. General personality traits
2. Task related personality traits
3. Leadership motives
4. Cognitive factors in leadership
General personality traits
• Self confidence
• Trust worthiness
• Emotional stability
• Sense of humor
• Self confidence: it refers to the confidence that a
leader has in his abilities and in the success of
decision that he is going to take
• Humility: it refers to being humble and admitting
that you do not know every thing as well as
admitting your mistakes to group members and
• Trust worthiness: a person’s confidence in
another individual’s intentions and motives and in
sincerity of that individuals word.
• Extraversion: it means that the leader is social,
gregarious and outgoing in most situations and
participates in group activities activily
• Assertiveness: it refers to being forthright in
expressing demands, opinions, feelings and
• Emotional stability: it refers to the ability to
control emotions to the point that one’s
emotional responses are appropriate to the
occasion.(depression. Anxiety, anger,
embarresment and worry)
• Sense of humor: sense of humor helps the
leader to diffuse tension and conflict among
• Enthusiasm: it is desirable for the leader to be
enthusiastic and group member respond
positivily to enthusiasm. e.g a leader can
express enthusiasm verbally as “Great job”, “I
love it” etc.
Task related personality traits
• Passion for the work
• Emotional intelligence
• Flexibility and adaptability
• Internal locus of control
• Passion for work: some leaders like take there work so
seriously and are so much involve in their work that
they are even not time conscious and sometime they
even sacrifaice their family life for their work
• Emotional intellegence: it refers to the ability to do
such things as understand one’s feelings, have empathy
for others and regulates one’s emotions to enhance
one’s equality of life.
• flexibilty and adaptability: it refers to the ability to
adjust to different situations. e.g downsizing,
outsourcing, technological advances etc.
• Internal locus of control: the leaders with
internal locus of control believe that they are
the prime mover behind events. So
fundamentally this capacity enables him to
take charge of the events.
• The power motive
• Personalized power motive
• Socialized power motive
• Drive and acheivement motive
• A strong work ethic
• Power motive: effective leaders have a strong
need to control resources. Leaders with high
power motives have three dominant
1. They act with vigor and determination to exert
2. They invest much time in thinking about ways to
alter the behavior and thinking of others
3. They care about their personal standing of those
• Personalized power motive: leaders with
personalized power motives seeks power
mostly to further their own interest.
• Socialized power motive: leaders with a
socialized power motive use power primarily
to achieve organizational goals or a vision. In
this context the term socialized means that the
leader uses power primarily to help others.
• Drive and acheivement motive: drive refers to a
propensity to put forth high energy into achieving
goals to a persistence in applying that energy.
Drive also includes achievement motivation.
• Strong work ethic: effective leaders typically have
a strong work ethic, a firm believe in the dignity
of work. They are well motivated because they
value hard work.
• Tenacity: it refers to the ability to overcome
Cognitive factors and leadership
• General mental ability( cognitive ability)
• Knowledge of the business group
• Insight into people and situations
• Farsightedness and conceptual thinking
• Openess to experience
• WIC model
• General mental ability: being good at solving
• Knowledge of the business: one needs to be
technically competent in his discipline specially
when leading a group of specialists
• Insight in to people and situation: a cognitive
ability to have depth of having insight into
understanding people and situations that
requires intuition and common sense
• Farsightedness and conceptual thinking: ability
to understand the long range implications of
polices and actions. Conceptual thinking refers to
the ability to have an overall perspective.
• Openess to experience: the positive orientation
• WICS model: wisdom, intellegence and creativity.