Identify and discuss the six trait characteristics in the trait approach to leadership. If one
does not have these traits, can he or she still be a leader? Explain your position.
Leadership as a process
My recent boss, who was the senior health officer in a private health facility, was more of
leader and a very effective one and this is because of the traits he possessed such as integrity as
was evidenced by the way he was able to account for every cent given to him, intelligence as
evidenced by the wise and strategic decisions he used to make concerning the running of the
facility, self confidence as was evidenced by the way he used to implement his policies despite
receiving criticism from a few people, determination as was evidenced by the way he used to
extend his working hours for at least two hours daily and his punctuality in keeping time and
finally sociability as was evidenced by the way he used to interact with his subordinates (Ledlow
& Coppola, 2011, pg 62).
This was very important in the role he played as the senior officer whose main work was
to oversee that the day-to-day operations of the health facility were carried out as required. At
the end of the year, the facility was able to get more patients compared to the previous years and
Leadership as a process 2
most of them commended the facility for its quality services. This had a great impact on me since
it helped me appreciate the need of possessing the same traits that is determination, self-
confidence and integrity. The appreciation of these traits is what helped me gain the ‘Employee
of the Year’ award at the end of the year. (Wiseman & McKeown, 2010, pg 15)
For a leader to be effective according to the trait approach should posses some traits and
this is as follows;
Research done has shown that leaders have a relatively higher intelligence compared to
non-leaders. Intelligence is what boosts communication skills, problem solving skills and
reasoning skills of these leaders. However, it has been shown that the intelligence quotient of
leaders and their subordinates should not differ much since this can make it difficult for the
subordinates to comprehend ideas from their leaders and also hinder the communication between
the two. (Northhouse, 2004, pg 20)
Self confidence in leaders is important since it boosts one’s self-esteem and this acts as a
motivation of aiming at productivity in whatever one does.
This is very important especially during the times when one is faced with challenges. A
determined leader is able to overcome any hurdles or obstacles. Determination also ensures that a
project or assignment given is performed to its maximum and such leaders do not settle for
Leadership as a process 3
mediocrity. This is very important when it comes to producing quality work. (Northhouse, 2004,
Integrity involves being trustworthy. Leaders with this trait are able to motivate their
subordinates to posses the same trait. Research has shown that most of the successful
organizations in the world are run by integral leaders compared to some organizations which
have collapsed as a result of leaders lacking integrity. Such organizations are usually faced with
issues such as corruption. (Northhouse, 2004, pg 21)
This is the quality of being able to come up with new ideas. (Gordon, 2002, pg 56) Most
of the successful leaders in the world such as Steve Jobs came up with new ideas and this
uniqueness is what made them successful.
This is the quality of being interactive with other people. This trait usually enhances
communication between leaders and their subordinates which is very important in the operation
of an organization. (Northhouse, 2004, pg 21)
In conclusion, if one does not possess these traits, he cannot be a leader since leadership
is a skill that requires principles to be adhered to so as to ensure that the interests of the people
are served. The failure to adhere to these principals will definitely lead to the lack of mutual
interest between the leaders and the individuals that are been led and the person leading will no
longer be viewed as a leader.
Leadership as a process 4
Ledlow, G. R., & Coppola, M. N. (2011). Leadership for health professionals: Theory, skills,
and applications. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Barlett.
Wiseman, L., & McKeown, G. (2010). Multipliers: How the best leaders make everyone smarter.
New York: HarperBusiness
Gordon, J. R., (2002). Organizational behavior: A diagnostic approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Northhouse, P. G. (2004). Leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.