Leadership Personality: Do You Have the Right Big Five Traits?

“Personalities at work are like cars in the city: They often can keep us from our destination.” Pierce J. Howard, The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work, 2001.

How well do you understand basic personality differences among the people at work? Knowledge of personality structure, dynamics and development is helpful to your:

1. Personal professional development
2. Relationships with associates
3. Relationships with superiors and the organization in general

The bottom line is performance. Whether you are working in a team, leading a department, or selling a service or product, the way you communicate and persuade is critical to your personal success and your company’s overall effectiveness.

If you aspire to climb the leadership ladder, you will need to learn the basics of personality. Without studying for a PhD in psychology, you can gain a firm understanding of your own personality and those with whom you work.

Psychologists now believe that of all the various methods for classifying personality dimensions, only one stands out as the most statistically robust: the Big Five. This means personality factors can be differentiated and distilled into five separate components:

N = Need for stability, negative emotionality, neuroticism
E = Extraversion, positive emotionality, sociability
O = Originality, openness, imagination
A = Agreeableness, accommodation, adaptability
C = Consolidation, conscientiousness, will to achieve, goal-oriented


This is a brief synopsis of an article available for your use in newsletters, websites and blogs for executive and business coaches and consultants, in three lengths: 2,000, 1,000 and 600 words.

The full article contains the following concepts:

The Big Five Personality Factors
A Word of Caution About Assessments
The N Dimension and Stress
The E Factor: Sociability
The O Factor: Curiosity
The A Factor: Negotiation
The C Factor: Focus
Understanding the Nature of Great Leaders
Portrait of a “Natural Leader”
The Big Trade-Offs


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All word lengths are approximate.

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