The Link Between Big Five Personality Dimensions & Leadership

Essay by allstyllzUniversity, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

download word file, 14 pages 4.0


People come in boundless varieties and the same can be said for leaders. In the last few years, many studies have emerged that concentrated on leadership and personality. Personality can be defined as the relatively stable set of psychological characteristics that influences the way an individual interacts with his or her environment (Johns, 1996). Due to measurement problems, personality has a rather strenuous history in organizations. Consequently many theories and personality tests have spawned in the last few decades.

One of the most recognized and an established method of measuring personality are the Big Five personality factors. Many different dimension of personality exist and there are many ways of conceptualizing personality, but the Big Five approach had emerged as the most useful, based on previous research (Botwin and Buss, 1989).

The Big Five personality dimensions include extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to expression. Personality measures are used by many organization in selecting management and other employees and therefore it is important to properly define how personality affects leadership.

By utilizing these factors or dimensions of personality, a small relationship between some of the factors and performance and training success has been found (Barrick and Mount, 1991).

In any organization members can exercise influence on others. In most cases some individuals are in a much better position to be leaders due to their personality and own personal goals. Leadership is the element that separates the mediocre from the exceptional. It's the act of persuasion. It's getting people to see new perspectives and do things they normally wouldn't do. It's about setting your ego aside and having the passion and charisma to get people to follow you.

Can an average person become a leader? Most studies are inclined to say certainly. "People can transform themselves and make huge...