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Trait Theory of Leadership

Trait theory of leadership means to identify the quality and characteristics of an individual to be a leader and for successful leadership. If we study real life leaders, we will find different qualities of leadership among them. These qualities are their traits which makes them a good or a bad leader.

What is Trait Theory of Leadership ?

Traits are the quality of the person that become the characteristics and personality of an individual. All experts and leaders have their own trait theory of leadership that can help us understand and learn many things on how to be a successful leader. So, let’s read some important tips on leadership traits.

Traits of leaderships


Stability is the most important trait of leadership. A leader should have a stable and confident mind that should be stable enough to think about how to gain success or complete the work. When the leader is not stable, they are not able to give their best, and hence their teams will also suffer the instability and hence they will not be able to give their best.


The leader should have the understanding capabilities and try to understand the employees’ point of view.  A leader should have the understanding of what can be given as priority, when to finish work how to finish work, employee personal matters, etc. With proper understanding, the leader will be able to give their best solution for the problems.

Accepting responsibility

Leaders should be ready to accept the responsibility and give their best to cope up with the responsibility and give their best. Leaders should not have fear to take responsibility. Everyone wants and appreciates responsible leaders.

Self Confidence and Self Belief

The most important quality of a leader should be Self-confidence and Self-belief. The leader should be self-confident enough about capabilities and abilities and the self-belief that they can complete the assigned task or work. Self-confidence and self-belief both are personal traits however they can be learned through different tips.

Talent to use People skills

The most important trait of leadership is how to positively and productively use people skills. All the people have their unique talents and skills and how to use them constructively is the main role and talent of the leaders.  Leaders who know how to use people skills are the most successful. Leaders should use people skills to increase their growth and the growth of the organizations. Assigning tasks as per the people skills will make work smooth and it will be completed within given deadlines.

Friendly nature yet responsible

The leader needs to show sometimes their casual friendly nature so that the employee can easily discuss with them their problems. These are the traits of leadership that nobody can learn but it is an important trait for a successful leader.

Responsible leaders are friendly yet responsible

Working on guidelines and deadlines

It is an important trait of leadership that leaders have in their nature. In short, it can be considered as punctuality. Being punctual and understand the importance of time is very important in the workplace. The leader should know the importance of time and teach the same to the team so that they can complete the assigned work in given timelines and deadlines.


Leaders should be very creative by nature. Creativeness can help the team a lot to get maximum output. Leaders should be very creative in their thoughts and they should be able to bring the best out of minimum resources.

Creativeness and Leadership go hand in hand


Leaders should always take interest in the employee’s matter also when they ensure that the employee is suffering from a personal problem that is affecting their performance in the workplace. Managers should always show interest in the surroundings and try to solve the problem in the best possible ways.


Leaders themselves should be a motivation to others, Leaders should have motivational traits so that the employee working with them get inspire and give their best to be like you in the future, always try to be a role model for your junior and your peers. Leaders should also be self-motivated and self-inspired.

Good leaders are always a motivation to others

Handle work without stress

Handling work without stress is the most and very important trait a leader should have. Because leaders are sure to be in a stressful situation most time. But it is their talent and trait about managing stress at workplace which builds positivity in team.

Individual Considerations

The leader needs to give importance to every team member. Be neutral to everyone and try to give individual considerations. Listen to each and everyone follows brainstorming sessions and guide them accordingly. Don’t make your favorite one but make all your favourite that is the great traits of a successful leader.

Problem Solving

Managers should have the capabilities and abilities to solve the problem immediately without creating much stress in the team. The leader should take responsibility for the problem and defined the right solution for the same with ease.

Great leaders always have Problem Solving Tool

Decision making

Decision making is also another very important trait leader should have in them. When and how to take correct decision is the right way to define leader decision making capabilities. Leaders decision should be precise and accurate so that it doesn’t hinder work or make employee suffer. But decision should always be encouraging and for the growth.

Oral/ Written communication

Leaders should have a strong command of oral/written communication skills. Communication should be clear and up to the point and with respect. Communication should not be offensive regards to anyone. Leaders should have very powerful communication that their single sentence should be able to speak 1000 words.

The way you communicate shows the way you Lead

Advantages of the Trait Theory of Leadership

  1. Help to grow
  2. Help to learn leadership quality
  3. Bring Confidence
  4. Help to maturely handle the situation

Help to Grow

Trait’s theory of leadership helps us learn and understand many new things and thereby help us to grow as a leader. We can learn many new things which can benefit our personal growth. So always be positive and learn new things from the leaders and gain successes.

Leaders can teach us many things

Help to learn leadership Quality

Trait’s theory of leadership should always be followed as it can help us learn many new leaderships quality which we may be lacking behind. Though we are born with traits to some extent we can learn them and be a leader. So, it can be very useful to help you bring the leadership quality in you.

Bring Confidence

When we are learning things and gaining success in becoming the leader and gaining the leadership quality, we are going to increase our self-confidence. Confidence on other hand plays a very important role to be a leader, Leaders are always filled up with immense confidence and courage.

Help to maturely handle the situation

Trait’s theory of leadership helps us to handle the situation with ease. The main quality of a leader is to handle the situation with maturity and experience. Handling the situation maturely means having correct decision making capability and problem-solving abilities.

5 Traits that differentiate Leaders from the rest

  1. Self-Confidence
  2. Intelligence
  3. Desire
  4. Honesty
  5. Knowledge


Self confidence is very very important for one to be a leader. Leaders are always self-confident all the way. They are never afraid of taking any decision or trying new. They have the confidence to handle the situation and deal with the situation properly.

“Self confidence will be found high in the Leaders”


Those who have the intelligence will be going to lead. Those who are not intelligent enough will not be able to take a lead as they will be lacking behind. Intelligence is the trait that only leaders have from birth and it cannot be learned.


Desire means they wish to achieve or get something in life. It is like Chasing your dreams and fulfilling them. Those who desire to gain success will definitely be a leader. If we don’t have the desire, we don’t have dreams and we don’t have a motto to fulfil those. So, a Leader should have desires for success.


Honesty is the trait of leadership that takes them to a great height. As we know the saying “Honesty is the best Policy’ that is true. When we are honest the whole world is surrounded by us with utmost positivity and we can easily handle the worst situation.


Leaders should have the utmost knowledge about their field. Because knowledgeable leaders can bring change and success in their lives and others’ life too. Every one appreciates knowledgeable leader those who can handle the situation and bring the best out of it.

Different types of trait theory

Core leadership theory is based on the different theory described below:

  1. Psychological traits
  2. Personality traits
  3. Social characteristics
  4. Task-related traits

Psychological traits

Great leaders have the skills of using psychology way to bring success in their life. They know how to deal with the psychological need of the employees to gain more benefits. The sub-factors that help in psychological traits are:


Some leaders know very well that rewarding can bring out the talent of an individual. When we are rewarding an individual for their good work they feel energize and give their best for you and the organization. So, rewarding the employee at right time brings a lot of success.


People often do have fear but leaders should be fearless and help or guide others to be less anxious and complete the task.

Personality traits

Personality traits are related to the qualities like honesty, patience, self-confidence

Leaders should have a lot of patience in them. Patience can be very difficult but it is the main key to success. Especially when you are leading something you should have the utmost patience and wait for the positive result to come.

Other traits of the leaders like honesty and self-confidence we have already discussed in the above topics and they are very important traits leaders should have.

Social Characteristics

Social characteristics are related to the social activeness of the leader, which includes the coordination and cooperation the leader has with others. How cooperative and coordinating are the leader and how they are guiding the team are the very important characteristics of the leader.

Co ordination + Co operation=Successful Leader”

Task Related Traits

Task-related traits that are very important in leaders and they can be called as “D” Model


Leaders should have the desire to achieve success in life. If they have a dream then they have the reason to fulfil it. Therefore, the leasers need to have a desire so that they can work on them.


Once leaders have the desire to do something they will automatically find their way out the driving success.


Desire and drive bring determination n the leader to achieve and lead something. A leader should have a strong determination spirit and discussion-making capabilities to gain success and lead the change.

Recommended books for Trait theory of Leadership

Article Credit: Trait theory of leadership

This article is contributed by Ms. Pragya Delhiwala. Experienced as a quality engineer after completing her education: 2nd rank BE in Electronics & Communications; 1st rank MBA in TQM. She is passionate about management, writing and painting.

More articles from Ms. Pragya Delhiwala:

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