The Art and Science of Leadership.


I believe that just because an individual is in a leadership position, it makes them a leader. Leadership traits and characteristics are important to define as it displays who the leader is. Effective leaders are essential in the workplace; however, not all leaders are effective. In my perspective, leaders are not born. I would like to consider that leaders are developed over the course of their journey.

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Vince Lombardi stated, “leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile (Johnson & Hackman, 2018).” According to Nahavandi (2014), a leader can be defined as, “any person who influences individuals and groups within an organization, helps them establish goals, and guides them toward the achievement of those goals (Nahavandi, 2014).”

Johnson and Hackman (2018) discussed a skills approach to leadership, which entails the skills needed to effectively lead. Characteristics are traits in which one possesses that can make one like others or different from others. Every individual possesses characteristics, however, not all individuals possess the traits needed to be an effective leader. I believe some essential traits that a leader should possess are innovation, emotional intelligence, critical thinker, effective decision maker, flexible, empathetic, understanding, adaptable, visionary, and empower. Leaders should possess the capability of being creative for the betterment of the organization. Having emotional intelligence involves not operating off one’s emotions, but yet operating in what is right, leading individuals the right way. Critical thinking and effective decision making are both essential, as the leader wants to ensure that they have critically thought about changes that are needed within the organization and that they are doing what is best for the organization as a whole and not just themselves as the leader. Adaptability and flexibility are knowing that one way does not fit all; if changes have to be made, one is working toward enforcing those changes as easily as possible for self and the employees. Being empathetic can provide safety with the employees, to where they can feel comfortable, and be able to communicate to the leader if something is wrong. As can be seen, each of the 10 traits I listed is essential to an effective leader.

Nahavandi, A. (2014). The art and science of leadership. Harlow, Essex, England: Pearson Education Limited.

Johnson, C. E., & Hackman, M. Z. (2018). Leadership : a communication perspective / Craig E. Johnson, Michael Z. Hackman (Seventh edition.). Waveland Press.

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