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JLBC CADET CORPS Leadership Skills & Theories

JLBC CADET CORPS Leadership Skills & Theories

Trait Theory.

"The trait theory of leadership focuses on identifying different personality traits and characteristics linked to successful leadership across various situations. JLBC Cadets This focus of research appeared as one of the earliest investigations into the nature of effective leadership and is generally tied to the "great man" theory of leadership, first described by Thomas Carlyle in the mid-1800s. JLBC Cadets According to Carlyle, history is shaped by extraordinary leaders." (Cherry, What is the trait theory of leadership, 2017)

The idea with trait theory is that if you can identify the personality traits or characteristics, a great leader has, you can identify those same traits in other leaders or even develop those traits in people who want to be leaders. This gets us farther away from Thomas Carlyle, who believed that leadership traits are innate and that the leader is born with these traits.

So what traits do great leaders have? That's the problem – different great leaders demonstrate other characteristics. If you ask a class of JLBC cadets to select the top features they think are essential in a leader, you'll find as many answers as you have cadets. JLBC Cadets No one has ever been able to come up with a definitive list of leadership traits that everyone – or even a majority of students of leadership – agrees on.

JLBC Practical Exercise

For 5 minutes, have the class brainstorm the traits they think good leaders should have. Write these on the board as cadets come up with them. Then have the class vote for each feature – those who believe each trait is key to leadership and those who don't. Then have cadets choose their top three qualities and see what characteristics are most important for your class.

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