Sample Leadership Studies Essay Paper on Joint Effects of Different Leadership Traits and Skills

The trait theory of leadership is one of the most common leadership theories. One of the key flaws that have been associated with the theory is that it portrays leadership as a person rather than a process, and ignores the flexibility that is often associated with leadership. Studies have shown that the derailed leaders are no different from the successful managers in terms of personal traits. Rather, their differences come in the manner that they deal with circumstances surrounding their leadership practice. Of particular importance is the impact of different traits and skills on leadership. Effective leadership practices applies different skills in different situations, hence the need for considering the joint effects of skills and traits. Similarly, different leadership styles are more effective with people possessing different personal leadership traits.

According to Yukl (138) a combination of different traits is necessary in leadership. For instance, successful managers are more likely to be calm, predictable in crises and confident in their capabilities. Moreover, they are more focused on the needs of the subordinates and the immediate tasks while derailed leaders focus more on impressing superiors and rivaling others. Successful leaders are also more likely to admit their mistakes, take a step towards rectifying the mistakes and working towards solutions, unlike the derailed leaders who opt to be defensive about their mistakes. Derailed leaders are also more likely to lack interpersonal skills. The consideration that people have different abilities, traits and skills ensures that leaders focus on the potential to expand their capabilities, improve their performance and to generally be more successful. For this to happen, different sets of traits are required in different circumstances, thus flexibility is an inevitable factor in leadership success.

Work Cited

Yukl, Gary A. Leadership in organizations 7th Ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 2010.