Stories of a worker starting from the bottom and reaching the top are few and far between. Such a person could seem mythological in nature: a warrior poised on the field of battle, commanding troops who used to be his equals. Inherently, the struggle today is that many times, proper opportunities for a person of such an ability level do not present themselves. Sean started at the bottom of an organization he was new to, in a field he did not have training in, and in a city he did not grow up in. With the odds stacked against him, he raised himself up and, within a year, took on the role of Program Director.
No better word could be used to describe Sean than determination: “People with determination are willing to assert themselves, are proactive, and have the capacity to persevere in the face of obstacles” (Northouse, 2015). Sean was determined, willing to work long hours through the day and night, sacrificing his afternoons and weekends for the benefit of the clients he worked with, and later, the employees who worked beneath him. He brought into the job certain traits that were strong markers of his future success. His conscientiousness, openness to experience, and extraversion all combined to give him an edge with those around him, showing him as a friendly person and someone worth following. Sean also exhibited all aspects of the triarchic theory of intelligence. He had good common sense, mixed with problem solving ability and creativity. Equally important was the way he was raised, getting both sides of the nurturing/authoritarian divide. Sean also naturally took on the parent/leader ego role, which helped others trust in him and led to little or no disputes in his leadership.
Sean’s self-confidence was infectious, leading those under him to believe they could achieve wonderful things. Utilizing the trait approach, one can see the strengths he was both born with and developed as his life progressed. Using the psychodynamic approach, one see a more expressive view of his abilities as a leader, and better understands the warrior aspects of any type of job.
Dobbs, J. (2018). Lecture Notes. Retrieved from: https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1887888
Northouse, P. G. (2015) Leadership: Theory and Practice (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.