Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Mothilal, Rashem URN etd-06042011-105903 Document Title The values, personal traits and characteristics of leaders who get things done Degree MBA Department Gordon Institute of Business Science Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Dr J Cook Supervisor Keywords
Date 2010-11-10 Availability unrestricted Abstract
The trait approach to leadership is arguably the most venerable intellectual tradition in leadership research, with decades of great prominence followed by years of scepticism and disinterest. Despite its checkered history, recent approaches to leadership have taken a trait perspective, which is supported by evidence showing consistent associations of specific traits with leader emergence and leadership effectiveness.
The purpose of this exploratory research project was to employ qualitative methodology to identify the values, personal traits and characteristics of South African business leaders who get things done. The data for this research has been obtained via in-depth exploratory interviews, with selected business leaders who have had a track record of achieving sustained financial results.
The research showed that there is a core list of traits that are associated with successful South African business leaders. Key leader traits that were identified include: drive, conscientiousness, self-confidence, openness, charisma and emotional intelligence. There was less clear evidence for traits such as extroversion and cognitive ability. In addition, the environment emerged as an important modifier of a leader‟s ability to get results.
While the research showed that the possession of certain key traits alone does not guarantee leadership success, there was sufficient evidence to show that effective leaders are different from others in certain key respects.
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Please cite as follows:
Mothilal, R 2010, The values, personal traits and characteristics of leaders who get things done, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06042011-105903/>
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