Trait Theory of Leadership: Meaning & Significance

Successful managers differ from less leadership effectiveness in that they will have a diversity of passions, skills, and character qualities. A collection of essential characteristics of effective executives have already been found via several research carried out in the last three half of the 20th century. Generally, these qualities are considered prerequisites that give someone managerial skills, and they do not alone determine if an individual will be an effective manager. Investigators attempted to link certain traits to the growth and expansion of managers using the characteristic approach. Physiological changes (shape, size, and weight), epidemiological traits (mental age, school, and occupational prestige), personality variables (activity, consciousness, and charisma), and cognitive traits (knowledge, assertiveness) are only a few of the traits that people have (try driving, self-respect, and patience), and social characteristics were all considered.

Trait Theory of Leadership

The personality theory of managing, based on the traits of numerous successful and failed leaders, is employed to forecast work engagement. The traits that emerge are then compared to those of potential leaders to determine whether they can succeed or lose. Investigators using the trait method examined physical, demography, temperament, aggression, Intelligence, mission, and interpersonal traits as they explored the advancement of executives. Individuals with a broad range of interests, skills, and character attributes. The three decades of the twentieth century saw a variety of study projects that revealed numerous essential traits of competent leaders. These characteristics do not only characterize a group's leadership skills, and they are nevertheless still seen as necessary conditions for being a leader. The management characteristic theory asserts that most executives have certain attributes. Trait theory research examines cognitive, physiological, and interpersonal traits to determine the traits that distinguish excellent individuals. Contrast with less potent types.

Great Man Theory/Trait Theory of Leadership

Some historical leaders have always been considered strong leaders based on their attributes or features. Leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Narayana Murthy of Infosys, Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, and others have been recognized based on their exhibited characteristics. Initially, the idea underlying characteristic theory was that "leaders are born, not produced." This was generally referred to as the "Great Man Theory" of leadership. The great man idea was first stated by Thomas Carlyle in 1949, stating that "great leaders would emerge when there is an enormous need." The great man idea was first stated by Thomas Carlyle in 1949, stating that "great leaders would emerge when there is an enormous need." The theory also assumes that a leader cannot be ordinary and that they differ from ordinary people in terms of personality traits such as intelligence, perseverance, and ambition. However, the "Great Woman" proposition finds no place, particularly in leadership studies, because gender issues were out of context when the theory was proposed. Furthermore, only male members of society were involved in such research, and people hardly recognized such bias at the time.

A comprehensive examination of the leadership literature on attributes reveals that the Big Five Personality Framework was one of the key approaches established. Though separate research revealed distinct features, it was likely that these traits were somehow grouped or subsumed under the Big Five method. Though the technique appears to be complicated, it provides helpful information. Leaders that are extraverted (enjoy being around people and can express themselves), conscientious (disciplined and keep promises they make), and open (creative and adaptable) appear to have an edge when it comes to leadership, implying that successful leaders share fundamental characteristics.


As per the characteristic concept and believers, executives succeed at self-promotion, have superb judgment and emotional balance, socialize, and constantly discover new skills, but are never afraid of taking the initiative. In plenty of other terms, people who want to be high - achievers must be curious about the world around them, stay up to date on current affairs, know how to deliver themselves, and show up in circumstances where they may be beneficial. According to the leadership philosophy, all the above mentioned qualities may be cultivated through time.

Traits of a Good Leader

Physiological and physiological factors include tall, mass, posture, wellness, and appearance. Experts theorize that they impact a group's performance and career activity. Since representatives are frequently smarter than average followers, intelligence is the most important trait. It is characterized as the ability to provide actionable appropriately, logically, and naturally. Personality: Outstanding leaders who exude confidence see similar actions in their subordinates. At the minimum, they feel confident in their accomplishments or beliefs. Assertiveness: Strong leaders are at ease in making challenging decisions since they are conscious of the fact that they are the ones who must do so. Flexibility and versatility Finding a manager who pushes beyond the boundaries is challenging. They can quickly adapt to evolving conditions. Resilience and responsibility: Great managers do not avoid challenges. Furthermore, they take responsibility.


The focus is shifted from the Extraordinary Men Management Theories to the character concept, broadening organizational leadership. It led to important developments in the study of individual traits and mindsets. Instead of confining management to a few behavioral approaches, as in Lewin's organizational leadership, the approach adds variety. It offers guidance to Executives on the traits they ought to work to hone. Executives might analyze their standing inside the company using the information and figure out how to strengthen it. They can be thoroughly aware of who they are and how their actions will affect other employees. This concept enables managers to see their areas of strength and weakness so they may figure out where to grow in their leadership skills


The management feature theory only holds throughout some situations, and the idea is less exact since various writers present distinct sets of qualities. The behavioral approach does not consider other leadership characteristics, and the findings of trait theory differ. No studies show how a single attribute influences a leader's performance and conduct to varying degrees. In the end, there are no precise techniques to measure these characteristics.


According to the characteristic leadership theory, great governance results from several indicating traits and features that support reliable behavior responses. One of the early research on the qualities of successful leaders was created in this field of study. The trait-based theory has blatant weaknesses. Despite claims to the opposite, effective principals only sometimes exhibit all the traits their admirers believe they do. Some have proposed that this could be since managerial skills only show up if required owing to contextual variables. Some people, though, have adopted a situation-specific method of leadership in which some attributes could be either more or less useful.