Collective Practice of the Trait and Skills Theories

Are leaders more efficient when applying two or more leadership approaches to their leadership process? Let’s examine Diane. Diane is a fashion designer, author, philanthropist, and President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). She describes her mother as being “strict and somewhat distant” (von Fürstenberg, 2014). Diane’s mother is a Holocaust survivor and instilled resiliency, confidence, and persistence in her. She attributes her ability to speak in front of a crowd to her mother’s demands that she give a speech at every family gathering, and her ability to travel alone from the train trips she took from Brussels to Paris starting a nine years old. Diane is perceived as confident, intelligent and creative.

The trait theory “focus on identifying the innate qualities and characteristics possessed by great social, political, and military leaders.” (Northouse, 2018). The skills approach focuses on abilities that can be developed to effectively execute the process of leadership. Diane exhibits qualities and abilities that correspond with the trait theory and the skills theory. The trait and skill approaches to leadership are complementary approaches to leadership. When the trait and skill approaches to leadership are applied methodically, an effective process of leadership is executed.





Northouse, P. G. (2018). Leadership: Theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

von Fürstenberg, D. (2014). The Woman I Want to Be.New York: Simone & Schuster Paperbacks.

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