Neuroticism; A Hinderance in Leadership

Working for a corporate AT&T store has been one of the best, and most surprising opportunities that I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I have been exposes to many different kinds of coworkers and leaders in many different kinds of settings. My current manager is perhaps one of the best leaders I have ever had the privilege of following, however, there is not one leader that is perfect. When it comes to personality characteristics, this manager has it all. He is charismatic, personable, and many more positive things. One personality characteristic as described by Northouse that this manager displays positively is Openness. Northouse describes this characteristic as an ability to be creative or be informed about different topics or ways to function (Northouse, 2015). This manager is able to come up with different ways to overcome any problem. He is helpful in both the sales aspect of the job and the technical aspect of the job. His ability to be open to experience, as Northouse explains the personality characteristic of openness, is remarkable. 

Despite anyone’s best characteristic, there is always room for improvement. This manager also displays the personality characteristic of Neuroticism. He has a very serious tendency to get anxious about things that are not necessarily in his control. Northouse describes openness as “the tendency for a person to be anxious, insecure, and potentially hostile” (Northouse, 2015). A large part of his job is to make sure that the store is performing well sales wise. If the store is not performing well, then that means that the sales associates are not meeting sales goals. The manager is responsible for his sales associates and their ability to reach goals. This manger experiences the most extensive anxiety on days in which his employees are not selling an appropriate amount of products. His anxiety is not something that he is able to hide well, therefore it effects the environment of the store.  His employees can feel his anxiousness and, in turn, feel anxious. This tendency to get anxious puts pressure on his employees that wouldn’t otherwise be there, which can lead to some employees further plummeting down a spiral of not being capable of a good, quality sales performance.

The personality characteristics model as described by Northouse helps  explain how different personality characteristics can help or hinder a leader. It is important to recognize strengths and weaknesses in oneself as a leader, in this model, they are more easily identifiable.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership ethics. In Leadership: Theory and practice. Washington, DC: SAGE

One Comment

  1. erf134 October 28, 2018 at 9:00 PM #

    Hello hda13,

    I found your post on neuroticism and leadership to be very interesting. The work environment can be greatly influenced by a leader’s personality traits and their response to stressful situations. From the description provided, it appears the leader of the corporate AT&T store does an excellent job of managing the team but is fairly affected when a stressful situation arises. The idea of transference is prominent when identifying the impact of leaders on their employees. The impact tends to be more significant when employees have neurotic personalities, as well, and are triggered by the anxiousness of the boss. Northouse’s explanation of different personality characteristics are valuable to understanding an individual’s strengths and weaknesses of not only the leader, but also the employees.

    Emily

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