Values of great leaders can be found in various types of people. People who are of different ethnicities and are from different points of the world have shown to have unusual characteristics of leadership. There were many different approaches developed in studying leadership, one being the trait approach. The trait approach is based on the presumption that leaders are not developed into the leadership role but born with the characteristics of leadership that permits them to be great leaders. It has been discovered that there are strengths and also weaknesses within the trait approach relating to studying leadership.
From a trait approach, there are many strong characteristics in leadership. A big role of a leader’s success is their personality. Their personality allows them to be effective when interacting with other people. Sometimes it takes a leader’s personality to set or change the tone in a work place, helping to create a positive mood and encouraging an environment of motivation to succeed and goal achievement. High energy, optimistic, a strong motivator, the ability to communicate and constancy are signature abilities that are believed to be recognized in the trait approach which aids a leader to be successful driven and adaptable (American Library Association , 1997-2013) Although this trait has been known to be very valuable in a successful leader it is has also been said that, “this massive research effort failed to find any traits that would guarantee leadership success. (Gary Yukl, page 13, 2010)”
Although a personality has the ability to be effective it also has the ability to be ineffective as well. A leader’s personality can be felt as being too strong and overwhelming at times causing some resistance and rebelling to take place with the followers. Many employees function on different learning levels in the workplace. If a supervisor leads with a sense of expectancy, his expectations may be seen as little high by the employees which in turn may damage the positive work environment. Also a supervisor’s personality can be taken as negative one if they do not take the employees’ feelings into consideration. To believe that a great supervisor is born with the leadership traits means that, as a company, the employees cannot be developed or effective in the workplace. When a company refrains from filling management positions from the inside of the company, employees can began to believe that they are in a glass ceiling environment. Creating future leaders within the company has been proven to build the morale of the employees.
Many abilities that identify great leaders have been found through the trait approach. Although these abilities are good, leadership is not limited by them. It has been exemplified through President Obama that in life, being a leader can be learned. President Obama was not born a leader, but through education and leadership experiences, he now has the ultimate leadership position in this country. Knowing this to be true, other approaches to studying leadership were developed such as the situational approach, the integrative approach, the behavior approach, and the power-influence approach.