The one key trait you need to be a successful leader

The one trait you need to be a successful leader

The one key trait you need to be a successful leader

Generally, happy people make for better leaders according to an article posted on Yahoo but is that the key to successful leadership?

Typically, when we envision successful leaders, we think of people who are charismatic, who know how to take control of a room, and who are comfortable in positions of power.

Now, however, researchers say that positivity is key.

Why being positive matters

According to the findings in a recent analysis of 25 studies, conducted by Dana Joseph, Ph.D., at the University of Central Florida, trait positivity was an even better predictor of effective leadership than extroversion or neuroticism.

The analysis zeroed in on the relationship between trait positivity and several leadership criteria, including leadership effectiveness.

On the other hand, negative affect accounted for 6% of the variance in leadership effectiveness.

In other words, the more unhappy someone was, the less likely they were to be a successful leader.

Interestingly, not all negative emotions were linked to low leadership effectiveness.

Those who displayed anger were more likely to be perceived as poor leaders than those who displayed anxiety.

Transformational Leadership

The primary link between happiness and successful leadership is that happy people tend to manage in a style called Transformational Leadership.

Transformational leaders are skilled at things like inspiring and motivating their team, stimulating their team intellectually, and mentoring their subordinates. Joseph says she suspects that it’s simply easier to be a transformational leader when you’re a happy person.

Joseph says from the findings, “it’s not realistic to say that aspiring leaders should force themselves to be consistently happy for the sake of getting promoted.”

The takeaway seems to be that hiring managers trying to predict which individual will be an effective leader should place greater importance on candidates’ overall happiness levels, and consider using tools within the workplace to measure trait positive effect as a more standardised part of any leadership selection strategy.

Next steps

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