Week 3: Trait Theory-The Nature of the Leader
In the late 1970s, flanked against Cold War strife, Dr. Halfden Mahler, a leader possessing specific traits, addressed a public health initiative. With a complimentary mix of buoyant energy and no-nonsense candor, Dr. Halfden Mahlerâ€s innate traits enhanced his leadership position as director of the World Health Organization (WHO). These traits helped him earn support for a controversial health initiativeâ€”universal, primary healthcareâ€”and establish a sincere bond with followers in support of global healthcare change (WHO, 2008).
Dr. Mahlerâ€s innate traits contributed to a specific type of leadership for WHO. Dr. Mahlerâ€s leadership serves to highlight another leadership perspectiveâ€”Trait Theory. This week, you examine the theoryâ€s strengths and limitations as well as its usefulness in assessing leader effectiveness. Additionally, as a scholar-practitioner in the field of public health, you analyze your own locus of control and how it may influence your role as a public health leader.
Reference: World Health Organization. (2008). Primary health care comes full circle. An interview with Dr. Halfdan Mahler. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 86(10), 737â€“816.
Evaluate Trait Theory
Evaluate the usefulness of Trait Theory in assessing effective leaders
Analyze personal perception of locus of control
Analyze influence of perception of locus of control on public health leadership
Note: To access this week’s required Harvard Business Review resources, select the article link and navigate to the relevant article or go back to Blackboard and select Harvard Business Articles from the course navigation menu.
Nahavandi, A. (2014). The art and science of leadership (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Chapter 3, â€œThe Foundations of Modern Leadershipâ€
Chapter 4, â€œIndividual Differences and Traitsâ€
Self-Assessment 4-3: Proactivity (p. 135)
Collins, J. (2005). Level 5 Leadership: The triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136â€“146.
Library resource”>Dines, C. J., Kahn, J. M., Abella, B. S., Asch, D. A., & Shea, J. A. (2011). Key elements of clinical physician leadership at an academic medical center. Journal of Graduate Medical Education, 3(1), 31â€“36.
Kirkpatrick, S. A., & Locke, E. A. (1991). Leadership: Do traits matter? Executive, 5(2), 48-60.
Discussion: Trait Theory
Trait Theory suggests certain individuals have innate characteristics or traits that may assist in particular leadership situations. Researchers in the field have identified specific traits necessary for effective leadership. As a future leader in public health, it is important to know how particular traits may impact effective leadership.
For this Discussion, review the weekâ€s Learning Resources to highlight the strengths and limitations of Trait Theory of leadership. Select an effective leader to use for this Discussion. Think about the traits of the leader you selected. Consider how useful Trait Theory is in assessing the leaderâ€s effectiveness.
By Day 4
Post a brief description of the leader you selected and two of his or her essential leadership traits. Then, describe two strengths and two limitations of Trait Theory. Finally, explain the usefulness of Trait Theory in assessing the effectiveness of the leader you selected.
Read a selection of your colleaguesâ€ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to your colleaguesâ€ postings.
Provide a substantive reply to your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
Expand on the colleagueâ€s posting with additional insight and resources.
Offer polite disagreement or critique, supported with evidence.
In addition, you may also respond as follows:
Offer and support an opinion.
Validate an idea with your own experience.
Make a suggestion or comment that guides or facilitates the discussion.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources and the current literature.
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