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What We Know About Leadership? Effectiveness and Personality. American Psycologist

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One of the questions that have been most debated throughout history is: leaders, are they born or are they made? Some authors will support the idea that a leader can not be made, and that leaders are born to lead, others will disagree. In the following paper, I will try to demonstrate, leaning on my own experience, that these two statements may not be mutually exclusive. To demonstrate this statement, I will support my reasoning with the theory of traits. As seen in class, there are 5 fundamental traits that allow covering all the requirements that a leader must assume in order to exercise in an outstanding way. These traits are: Extraversion, Emotional Stability / Neuroticism, Conscientiousness, Agreeable and Openness. I am then going to describe each of these traits and what I have of them regarding my own experience.

Surgency measures the degree to which an individual is sociable, gregarious, assertive, and leaderlike versus quiet, reserved, mannerly, and withdrawn. Some of the more common personality traits associated with this dimension include dominance, capacity for status, or social presence, the need for power, sociability, surgency, or assertiveness (Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan, 1994). Ever since I was a child, I have always been an open, sociable person who had no problem taking responsibility. I started playing baseball with 5 years and basketball 2 years later. From the first day I started playing, I always wanted to be important inside the team, take control and take responsibility, which in basketball is said to take the last shot. Over the years, this has been developing into not being afraid to lead a work group or expose in front of the class. Therefore, it can be said that since I was little I had the surgery trait, and that over the years I've been polishing it little by little.

Emotional stability concerns the extent to which individuals are calm, steady, cool, and self-confident versus anxious, insecure, worried, and emotional. Some of the personality traits associated with emotional stability include neuroticism, emotional stability, negative affectivity, and affect (Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan, 1994). Emotional stability is something that when you are a child you do not always get to test as long as your family atmosphere is calm and you feel affection of the people who are around you. Once mature and you have responsibilities, this is where emotional stability comes into play depending on whether or not you achieve your goals. At 18 I started to study medicine and I was two years studying it. The results were never good and my emotional stability low feeling as if the world were against me. Thanks to the support of my family, I got back to the necessary stability, and once in engineering I found myself calm when I had to face problems knowing that I was going to get the results. In this case, the emotional stability is a trait that I have been getting through experiences in my life.

Conscientiousness differentiates individuals who are hardworking, persevering, organized, and responsible from those who are impulsive, irresponsive, undependable, and lazy. Personality traits categorized under this dimension include prudence and ambition, will to achieve, need for achievement, dependability, constraint, and work (Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan, 1994). Once in school, when the teachers began to send homework, I could spend hours and hours in front of them without advancing. My grades were normal, because after all the demand is not very high in those ages, but my parents thought that it had much more potential. That is why, for two years I went to an academy in which they taught me techniques for concentration and planning for my studies. From that moment, my grades began to rise until I could have high grades allowing me to enter a career as Medicine. In this case, again I was not born with the trait, but I was able to train it to get satisfactory results.

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