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Yukl (2013, p.146) similarly identifies certain characteristics related to good leaders which include a high tolerance of stress, emotional maturity, personal integrity, motivation and self-confidence.However, Furnham (2005, p.574) suggests that although there are numerous traits, there appears to be little agreement regarding which characteristics contribute to a leader being effective.
The concept of leaders having certain characteristics dominated research prior to the Second World War.
It was thought that individuals could be selected for leadership positions if they showed the appropriate characteristics or alternatively that traits could be taught to leaders (Furnham, 2005, p.571).
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Yukl (2013, p.18) further states there are additional factors that contribute to good leadership such as the situational context and the use of power.
Another issue regarding the characteristics of leaders is that many theories and models have been based on Western perspectives (House and Aditya, 1997, p.409) and typically based on research with white males (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, CIPD, 2008, p.7).However, Yukl (2013, p.18) argues that there are numerous and diverse definitions concerning the concept of a leader as well as the term leadership, although a general consensus appears to suggest it involves a process of influencing and guiding relationships within an organisation .Guirdham (2002, p.15) emphasises the importance of leaders having good interpersonal and communication skills, which as Yukl suggest involves the ability to persuade others.Theories such as Fiedler’s contingency theory (Fiedler 1967, cited in Northouse, 2013, pp.123-125) were developed primarily with leaders in the military and focused on how compatible the characteristics and style of the leader were with a specific situation. Thus, ‘effective leadership is contingent on matching a leader’s style to the right setting (Northouse, 2013, p.123). The notion that good leaders can learn skills through a dynamic learning experience is supported by other researchers; for example, Rodd (2006, p.13) proposes that practitioners within the Early Years profession can become leaders through ‘demonstrating increasing competence’ and by developing the personal skills necessary to become a leader. [Accessed 7 September 2019]; Available from: https:// Daly and Byers (2004, p.7) suggest that good leaders will also ensure that employees have the opportunity for training and professional development which in turn may help them to become good leaders. Leaders have an important role within an organisation related to its success, productivity and the performance of the employees.The ‘fundamental task of a leader is to build and maintain a high performing team’ (Furnham, 2005, p.566).The aim of the following essay is to investigate whether certain characteristics are related to good leadership and which can be identified in theories and models of leadership such as trait theory, transformational and charismatic leadership as well as authentic and servant leadership.Finally, there will be a brief discussion regarding interpersonal characteristics such as emotional intelligence and communication skills.