Monday 01 January 2018

Traits Of Great Leadership

Modern thinking on leadership has long abandoned the traditional aristocratic and autocratic views that leaders are born out of “blue” blood. In Sun Tzu’s Art of War, leadership is defined as the sole culmination of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline. Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle proposed the great man theory, which postulated that history of the world is mostly shaped by the interventions of few influential leaders. Contemporary scientific studies on leadership, however, have challenged and largely debunked these outdated maxims. While no singular theory has yet to exist to adequately describe the necessary and sufficient conditions for great leadership, emerging theories in psychology and sociology have argued that leadership is more than just a collection of endearing traits (trait theory) which allow an individual to rise above a group to become a leader. This is, in part, because effective leadership in one domain does not guarantee success in another (situation theory). Moreover, sound leadership must not be conflated with effective management (especially in business), for great leaders exhibit not only desirable outward behaviors and personality traits such as openness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness (five factor model) but also an innate inner drive toward personal moral growth. True leadership is most needed in politics, as a righteous leader is one who must uphold the interests of the entire populace whose the leader is sworn to protect and not just the few who lend their support. Above all, great leaders must not abuse their power of authority but instead leverage this power for the betterment of their fellows.

By Philip Jong • At 01:01 AM • Under Column • Under World
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