As we all think about our own leadership abilities, sometimes we can’t help but wonder if we are made up for such a serious and responsible task. For those of us who has no knowledge of leadership and how a leader is formed or in some views born, it might be a challenging task to become one, either at our work place, school, amongst our own peers or even any given small tasks that we inherit spontaneously.
Well the truth of the matter as I have mentioned in my last blog is that not all leaders are born and now as we progress into the course and diverse types of leadership approaches, we came across trait approach. According to trait approach which believes that great leaders are born with a set of traits that qualify them and make them ideal for a leadership role and believe it or not only “great” people possess them (Northouse, 2016).
Well that couldn’t have been far from the truth in my opinion. For example, you might have heard someone say, “I can do anything” and even that shows confidence, that statement might be a bit stretched out from the actual truth.
If one individual trait is appropriate in a specific situation, it does not necessarily make them the right candidate for the next job. For example, if you were born to a family of police officers and law enforcement, chances are that at an early very age you were acquainted with the stories that your family told you about their daily activities on the patrol and (even though not all police officers patrol out streets) on the job. They even might have taken you on some ride along. That’s a perfect example of learned abilities at an early age and an example of Skills approach. With Skills Approach unlike Trait approach it is believed that leaders are trained with a set of traits and are not born with those traits.
Research for a long time has been trying to figure out leadership and they’ve come up with countless terms to define and explain personalities that would determine if we can see whom leaders are and whom are not. Research had broken down majority of these personalities into five major categories, for our sake. One, Consciousness or Dependability, Agreeableness, Neuroticism/Emotional Stability and Adjustment, Openness to Experience/ Intellectance and finally Extra version/ Surgency (PSU, 2018)
I believe there is no other book or course than can get in depth of leadership in my opinion than psych 485. The reason why I say this is that, all the material re straight forward and really explains the types of different leaderships, and leadership approaches. I have to say one thing that I know I will not forget is that, with trait approach we need to remember one size does not fit all. However, with Skilled Approach the skills necessary for the job can be taught and it has a way higher success rate than trait approach leadership.
As I bring this to an end I wanted to mention that Skills Approach has here subcategories; Technical, which in layman term “hand on” and this include factory workers, contractors, custodians and anything that involves hand on work. Second would be Human. This one would be a good example of social workers, therapists, and doctors. They have the skills that they have learned through school and obtaining knowledge to help their fellow mankind. The last one is Conceptual, and this is a notable example of the entrepreneurs. Those who want o to start their own business and think outside of the box. Always ready to make a move and start something new that could take them to the whole different level. I just wanted to mention some of the skills model that can be learned, rather than be born with according to trait approach.
Northouse, P.G. (2016). Leadership: Theory and Practice. Seventh Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
Pennsylvania State University, (2018). Psychology 485: Leadership in Work Setting, Lesson 2 and 4: Trait Approach and Skills Approach and