Since ancient times, people tried to find out which specific qualities a leader should have to manage others effectively. There once was a belief that God has endowed a man with three main qualities at first: talent, will and decency. However, for unknown reasons, he changed his mind and left only two qualities for each representative of the human race. Therefore, the majority of people living today can be honest and strong-willed, but talentless; talented and decent, but weak-willed; strong-willed and talented, but dishonest. Everyone who is a leader in the professional work environment should possess organizational skills, strong will, and impeccable integrity. How can one achieve harmony and combine these “initial leadership qualities”?
Various scholars have tried to come up with a list of necessary traits or characteristics, this or that leader should have. This issue is given much attention in foreign psychology of management especially. The original scientific research was called “traits theory” (sometimes referred to as “charismatic” theory).
According to this theory, only those who have a number of inherent personal traits or a collection of certain psychological traits can be the leaders, not just any ordinary person. Management is not a science, but a kind of art, argue those, who are in favor of this theory. Manager – is an artist, whose work is based on his innate talent. American psychologist D. Boyd claimed that no one can learn to lead, and he did not believe that this can be taught. The art of leadership is not something that can be learned from the outside; it comes from the heart and personal strength.
Later on the theory of “elite and the crowd” formed on the basis of the previously mentioned views. According to it, the necessary condition of life of any society differentiates all people into two layers – the “elite”, the privileged ruling group, whose members are called to lead, and the “crowd”, the remaining mass of the people who blindly follow the leaders. To agree with this point of view is to recognize unnecessary attempts to identify patterns of effective management. However, the studies show that there are certain patterns that have typical features. That is why some psychological behaviorists claim that leadership traits cannot be considered entirely innate. Some of them can be acquired as a result of training and experience. In this regard, numerous studies are aimed at identifying universal features, which characterize the leaders worldwide.