November 9, 2010

The Big Five in Leadership

As I plunge into my EdD in Organizational Leadership studies I'm like a sponge absorbing information. We're using e-books which makes highlighting so much easier and I'm finding myself underlining big chunks of our first text: Leadership: Theory and Practice (fifth edition) by Peter G. Northouse.

You may be as surprised as I was by the first characteristic on the list of Five-Factor Personality Model and Leadership.

The tendency to be depressed, anxious, insecure, vulnerable, and hostile

The tendency to be sociable and assertive and to have positive energy

The tendency to be informed, creative, insightful, and curious

The tendency to be accepting, conforming, trusting, and nurturing

The tendency to be thorough, organized, controlled, dependable, and decisive

The text states, "Specifically, in their study (Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 765–78)extraversion was the factor most strongly associated with leadership. It is the most important trait of effective leaders. Extraversion was followed, in order, by conscientiousness, openness, and low neuroticism. The last factor, agreeableness, was found to be only weakly associated with leadership."