paper analyses leadership based on traits, skills, and style approaches
according to the experiences I have had in different situations. Furthermore,
it considers the relationship of leaders with traits, skills, and leadership style.
Moreover, it identifies some leadership qualities that I want to develop.
According to Northouse (2004), traits focus on leaders’
personal characteristics, and skills are evidenced by leaders’ developable
capabilities, whereas styles can be highlighted by leaders’ behavior.
Leadership is delineated as an interpersonal relationship in a review that showed
a leader in one situation may not be a leader in another (Stogdill, 1948). However, leadership elements are essential to be considered
as situational requirements.
charisma are two major traits associated with leadership (Birk, 2010). Personality and emotional intelligence (EI) are also
significant aspects of leadership. (Stogdill, 1974). EI is closely related to leaders’
personalities and take into consideration both personal and social competencies.
The trait approach proposes that managers with the suitable leadership profiles
are essential for an organization’s success. The trait approach is intuitive, theoretical,
time-proven, and invaluable (Northouse, 2004). However, this approach does not consider situational
effects. It is impossible to determine important traits which affect the outcome.
Leadership skills can be educated and developed (Katz, 1955). Technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills are
essential. Senior management is more associated with conceptual skills while supervisory
management, technical skills. However, interpersonal skills play an equally
important role at all levels. Social judgment, knowledge, and problem-solving
skills are also found to be important in order to respond to the continually
changing environment (Mumford et al., 2000). The skills approach is leader-centered, intuitive,
consistent, and expansive; yet, it is general, weakly predicted and inaccurate (Northouse, 2004). Thus, it may not be widely applied.
The style approach considers both task and relationship
behaviors that influence others to obtain goals (Northouse, 2004). An employee-oriented leader is considerate,
relationships-focused, and respectful while a production-oriented leader concentrates
on organizing and scheduling tasks. Blake and Mouton’s Managerial Grid presents
different leadership styles according to concerns shown in terms of both
production and people (Northouse, 2004). The style approach widens the leadership focus.
Furthermore, it attests the fundamental principles that form the core
I had encountered an authority-compliant leader. He was
visionary, task-oriented, and motivated. However, employees were merely a tool
to achieve organizational goals. Training and staff-bonding sessions were mostly
called-off or indefinitely adjourned due to last-minute tasks assigned to staff.
This resulted in high-turnover rates as employees felt unappreciated and
incompetent. After several futile efforts to communicate with the management, I
compiled a step-by-step guide to each task for the employees and organized team-lunches
for staff-bonding purposes. I had exhibited motivation and integrity traits
while adopting team-management style with my problem-solving skills. However, I
will need to develop a better interpersonal skills and EI in order to handle
In conclusion, leadership is a combination of the
application of appropriate personalities, behaviors, and capabilities. The many
approaches have their places in different settings and they complement one
another. Everyone has a certain individual leadership potential, and it is
important to determine and maximize that potential (Northouse, 2004). Interpersonal skills are important in all
environments. Strong interpersonal skills can help to build strong relationships
and respects in both business and family settings.