Extraverted Person Is More Likely to Succeed as a Leader Than an Introverted Term Paper

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The relationship between leadership and extraverted personality

What makes an excellent leader? Does effective leadership stem from the combination of the right person and the right situation, or can an individual mold his or herself into a leader if given the right tools. Are there some personalities which are innately better at leadership?

I believe that there are certain types of personality who will succeed in a leadership position. There are many types of personality, but for this study, I plan to research the extraverted personality. We will discuss research on the subject of personality and effective leadership styles. We will identify settings in which certain personality types flourish and why. We will identify personality traits which can be mistaken for extraversion. We will attempt to make a clear definition of leadership. Based upon my readings on these subjects, my hypothesis for this paper is "An extraverted person is more likely to succeed as a leader than an introverted person." The variables for my hypothesis are 1) extraverted personality and 2) leadership quality and capability


By definition, extraverted personalities are social, assertive, talkative and active. An extraverted person will focus attention outside on one's environment rather than internally.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Extraverted Person Is More Likely to Succeed as a Leader Than an Introverted Person Assignment

Extraverted people usually function better in large groups rather than small gatherings. The extraverted personality is more independent in thought and action. An extravert may often have fluctuations in mood and energy. Extraverted personalities are often described as warm, gregarious, assertive, excitement seeking. They are often perceived in a positive light by others, seen as happy and well adjusted 1. Extraversion is often associated with subjective state of well being2. Extraverted personalities tend to practice extraverted thinking. Examples of extraverted thinking include contingency planning, scheduling and quantifying tasks before initiation. These individuals often use organizational tools like graphs, flow charts, outline which help with task management. This style of thinking is empirical in nature. The extraverted individual is likely to challenge ideas or ask for explanations of routine. Generally unable to accept the status quo, the extraverted individual will frequently ask for clarification of thought process. The extraverted personality easily uses written and verbal communication channels.

Personality and Leadership

No one knows what makes use develop personality. It appears to be a combination of the physical and the mental. Add to this mix the socializing elements of childhood and the effect parents have on children plus quite a bit of life experience. Twin studies show, however, that even when individuals are raised in similar settings with similar parenting and experience, the twins still may have very different personalities. A part of personality can be culturally based, since certain cultures reward the development of certain personality and behavior patterns.

The study of leadership can be as complex as the study of personality. Many studies have been done on the subject, and there are as many theories regarding leadership as there are leadership styles. Leadership is defined as the ability with which one influences others and directs organizational activity. A capable leader will work in such a way that the organization is cohesive and action is coherent. Leaders inspire others to achieve goals set for the organization.

To be effective, leaders have to build and maintain partnerships with subordinates. Leaders do not automatically command loyalty but rather facilitate the building of excellence. Good leaders have strong character and are fully engaged in the work environment. Leadership cannot be evaluated outside of the sphere of character and personality, since each will feed in to leadership effectiveness.

Bass' theory of leadership3 states that individuals become leaders in three different ways. Some come to it naturally (the trait theory), some are made leaders secondary to a crisis or unusual event (the great events theory) and some people choose leadership and learn leadership skills (transformational leadership theory). The theory of transformational leadership is by far the most popular and has received the most attention in the popular press. When one evaluates leader, one must look at that which the leader does which will provide information on which the leader will be. A good leader will not seek success at the expense of his or her worker. Character is an important element of leadership. As a leader one reflects the organizational goals and objectives.

Often times, it is possible to mistake hypomania for extraversion. In fact, these two states are not mutually exclusive and the hypomanic personality may be extraverted. Hypomanic individuals may have elevated self-esteem or grandiosity. They may be very talkative, outgoing and ebullient. The difference between the hypomanic and extraverted individual is that the hypomanic person will find it difficult to slow the process of talking. They may have a flight of ideas or report subjectively that thoughts are racing. Television personality Jane Pauley experienced hypomania before drifting into bipolar disorder. In her book "Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue," 4 Pauley described how hypomanic symptoms made her vivacious, ambitious and so full of ideas she even thought about starting her own line of clothing. Pauley also bought a house and everything needed to decorate it, even though she did not need the house. At the end of her first hypomanic episode she began to have thoughts of suicide and sought medical intervention. Pauley would certainly be considered to be an effective and successful person. And people in hypomanic states, much like those who are extraverted are often identified as energetic, full of ideas. Hypomanic individuals do not tend to lose touch with reality as a manic person may, but may overestimate their own capabilities and fail to identify risks associated with over-commitment. The hypomanic personality may expand a business in an impractical way; develop plans which they are unable to follow through. Unlike people with full-blown manic episodes, hypomanic people are able to form coherent thought and generally able to participate in their everyday activity4.

An employer or a boss is not the same thing as a leader. Leadership is a nebulous term, but certain qualities are associated. Leaders provide a role model, and are willing to serve others. Leaders show initiative and drive, are often charismatic and have the ability to motivate others. Leaders are often committed to a role or task or project. Leaders usually have a clear sense of purpose and strong goals. Leaders are result oriented and use effective time management and effective commitment of resources, to include personnel. A leader will have a clear sense of self, and will know his or her role.

Leaders believe in themselves and in the mission. Leaders must be good listeners. The strongest data surrounding the "traits" associated with leadership involves the identification of individuals who appear to have leadership qualities and training those who have potential.

Different from a leader, a boss is someone who is simply assigned power over others. Power is the ability one person has to influence the behavior of another person so the second can act in accordance with the first's wishes. The power need be used to be effective. Mere knowledge that one has power over another exerts influence over the second individual.

A boss tells workers when they can work and when to go home, what to do and when to do it. Of course a leader is in a position of power, same as a boss. Leaders are able to use power efficiently and effectively, often times having the wisdom to allow subordinates to self-correct or develop innovative work styles. Leaders need to be able to inspire those outside of their own sphere as well. It is the very unusual workplace which functions as an island, and leaders must be able to develop working relationship with outside disciplines and other organizations. This is another challenge to the leader, coordinating the work of people with different backgrounds, skills, priorities and interests. An effective leader will be able to cross boundaries between teams to ensure mission objectives are met, maintaining a harmonious work environment and ensuring all needs and goals are met.

While the leader and the boss are both in positions of authority, the leader will use motivation and education to guide his or her workers. The leader is dependent on the workers for loyalty and good will, and this makes a reciprocal relationship in opposition to the more one-way relationship of the boss. Leaders are not necessarily able to improve the quality of the type of work, but a leader uses a team approach and motivation to move the workers along in their daily activities.

Leaders use different styles. The authoritarian leader is more autocratic in nature. This type of leader does not lead by committee, but provides specific guidelines within which subordinates may work. The participative or democratic style of leadership includes employees in the decision making, with the leader as the final authority, however. Participative leadership may be misunderstood as an element of weakness since the leader will seek input from subordinates. This style actually requires a strong personality and allows the leader to build motivation and commitment from subordinates. Delegative… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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