“I have personally experienced that there is no simple answer to any question in life although you have a choice to leave it simple..”
The discussion on leadership and leader personality coupled with how leaders emerge always have a tickling effect on leadership authors and readers. Rather old-fashioned, leadership students are interested in the prominence of leadership as an institution. Leadership should be approached as a function not institution. The Great Man Theory, though old, wakes us up to find alternative approaches to understanding self-leadership. Dr. Marcus Nini hinted that The Great Man Theory’s dream to discover universal characteristics is still a controversial topic in the scientific community, but couldn’t be confirmed up to now.
The Great Man Theory has a way of explaining personalities and personality types and how people behave the way they do at the workplace. The most interesting bit within this discussion is when people cannot explain or even understand why they behave the way they do at any given time. One school of thought explains that it is okay not to understand how you behave because after all traits are inherent and can only be explained through actions and not necessarily by yourself. The psychology within this psychology is to unveil or expose one of the early theories in leadership. The first half of the 20th century saw a lot of leadership thinking relating to creativity, motivation and even masculinity (which Ahenkorah (2018) hinted that strength is not in the arms but in the minds). Stodgill (1948) summarized that sociability, responsibility, confidence, reliability and initiative are traits that define successful leaders.
As reflected in the trait-based perspective to leadership, Judge et al (2002) expressed that conscientiousness, openness to experience and extraversion have a positive relationship to leader success. Throughout my experience in academia and the workplace I can only say within the Great Man Theory that intelligence should give leadership a positive command to fixing situations and impacting environments. I have personally experienced that there is no simple answer to any question in life although you have a choice to leave it simple. Sometimes the seemingly simple questions won’t call for a simple answer. Leaders must learn to understand themselves and situations within the Great Man Theory so that they can master how to position discussions within the leader-follower-situation framework.
The objective is to appreciate the true character of a good leader as situated within a bigger space in order to leverage perspectives, competencies and skills that are relevant to facilitate goals. If the Great Man Theory expounds that individuals are born with prerequisite attributes that are adequate enough to make them excel so to achieve greatness by accomplishing great goals to improve situations of their followers irrespective of existing obstructions and hang-ups, then it’s relevant that as individuals with the desire to excel, you spend more time to know the personality within you. Our inaction that sleeps within us is always ready to draw us back. Be ambitious! Don’t be a Macbeth though. Just know the personality within you and don’t stop moving!
This is Leadership!
Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah
Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top