Trait and Skill Approaches to Leadership Essay

721 Words Sep 24th, 2012 3 Pages
The Trait Approach was the 1st systematic attempt to study leadership. In the 20th century it was known as the “great man” theory. This approach takes a look at the leaders personal attributes such as but not limited to: motivation, energy, intuition, creativity, persuasiveness and foresight. Some of the traits that are essential to this list include: intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability. Thus it focuses mainly on the leader and not on the followers or situations. The strengths of the Trait Approach includes: 1) it is intuitively appealing, 2) it has research to back it’s theory, 3) it highlights the leader, 4) it identifies what the traits of a leader should have and whether the traits we do …show more content…
It’s weaknesses are: 1) the extensiveness of the Skills Approach seem to expand further than the boundaries of leadership, 2) it can not explain in specifics how skills lead to the effective performance of a leader, 3) although it claims not be a trait approach model, a huge component of it does in fact include individual attributes, 4) it may need to be proven in generalized organizations and populations because findings were constructed using only military personnel in the armed services. (Northouse, 2010). Trait Approach Skills Approach
Focuses on Leader Focuses on Skills of Leader
Only certain people can be a leader Anyone can be a leader
Leaders cannot be trained Leaders can be trained and skills developed

References
Blackwell, Charles W., Gibson, Jane Whitney. (1999, June 22). Flying high with Herb Kelleher: A profile in charismatic leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies. Retrieved from