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Personality, Leadership, and Overdoing It

This study tested theory-based predictions about relationships between an expanded representation of the Five Factor Model of personality and interpersonal-, task-, and change-oriented leader behaviors. The assumption that strengths can become weaknesses was also examined by determining the level of personality dimensions that is associated with ratings of “the right amount” versus “too much” of various leader behaviors. Correlation and regression analyses in a sample of 126 managers and executives rated by 1,512 coworkers supported 79% and 82%, respectively, of the predicted patterns of personality-behavior linkages, with an average multivariate effect size of R = .51. Distinct personality profiles were associated with each of the leadership behaviors, and complementary behaviors were predicted by opposing personality profiles. Additionally, the levels at which personality scores were associated with doing too much of the leadership behaviors were not as extreme as predicted. The findings indicate patterns of leader behavior associated with a broad range of personality dimensions and have implications for future research as well as the selection and development of managers.

Kaiser, R. B., & Hogan, J. (2011). Personality, leader behavior, and overdoing it. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 63, 219-242.

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