Notes from lecture A leading character: How and why leaders' personality impacts success by Sabine Bergner

Today, I was listening to the Sabine's presentation at the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana through Zoom. I would like to have come in person, but I am still a bit sick, so Zoom it was.

She was talking about how different individual differences show in the leadership success on the different level.

The first one is, that when it comes to the individual level - so salary and how high the leader can success, there are a couple of personality traits, that can help. These are: * extroversion - assertiveness * extroversion - activity * conscientiousness - achievement striving * self-confidence * narcissism * the combination of openness and cognitive ability

On the dyadic and team level, the extroversion seems to have some effect. Based on the later info, it seems to be mostly because of the behavior changes - the extroverted leaders have a more positive and transformational leaders, which makes people more motivated.

On the organizational level, the emotional positive tone on CEO (personal) twitter (as compared to the casual or professional tone) lead to bigger profits in the next year.

There was also a note about something, that I want to check for my master thesis. For the CEO study, they were using a lexical approach to get the conversational style and I wonder, if it is something, that I can borrow.

As the unrelated note, the 10% of leadership tested were beyond the sub-clinical level in the dark triad in the self-assessment -> which lead to a comment, that I would be interesting to see, how normal employees with dark triad influence the company they work in.

I guess this gives also a different perspective on why it might have been a good decision to not take the lead role in my company. Originally, I rejected it for work-process related reasons. Basically, I did not want to be in the meetings all the time. I know myself enough, that if I have done this, I would have quit quite quickly from too much stress.

But looking from the today's lecture perspective, I have maybe half of them, but am completely lacking in the test of them. I am pretty low on activity, achievement striving and narcissism (especially with the comment in the lecture, that narcissist are proud to be one). The rest I, at least, partly have. Thinking now on the last sentence, I think it shows, that I am also not overflowing with self-confidence.

Even on the non-individual level, I am not the epitome of the most extroverted or even just positive person. Well, since the extroversion is connected to positive emotions, these two are most likely quite correlated.

On the other hand, I liked pushing people to be better speakers through table topics in Toastmasters. It was my favorite part of it. And I sometimes do this also in other spheres. So I maybe have a bit of transformational leadership in me.

Well, that made me think about the different leadership styles that even exist. According to the [Wikipedia page about leadership style], there are the following:

  • Autocratic - my way or high way
  • Paternalistic - taking care of people in exchange for loyalty
  • Democratic - everybody should be included in the decision
  • Laissez-faire - allowing people to make their own decisions
  • Transactional - based on processes, rewards and punishments
  • Transformational - growing themselves and their underlings

I can not say, that I completely understand each of them by just reading a Wikipedia page, but I can still think about it.

I guess most of my frustration, either with the conflict in the Toastmasters, or when dealing with the universities or in the work, came from the autocratic (Toastmasters and university) or transactional (work and university).

I really liked my second team leader in my work, which was the personification of the laissez-faire style of leading. The current team leader seems to be more democratic type of person the most, but at least in the relationship to me, can also be quite laissez-faire. And that id fine. The first one was not laissez-faire - I think it was supposed to start as transformational and either autocratic or paternalistic. I was under stress of working in the office at the time, so I did not take that well to this style.

The original leader of the company, from my perspective, had the transformational style with autocratic tendencies. But here it seems to work out in the end - even though the style was (looking back) pretty similar. I guess the main difference was whenever the person gave up? I am not sure.

I guess there is still some thinking, I need to do on this topic.