Leadership Trait Study Essay


Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision (Robbins & Judge, 2009). Leaders play a very important role in every organization. Every organization requires strong leadership and strong management for excellent effectiveness in the organization. Leadership is a quality that comes within us and also that we see from others and learn. Leaders have personal qualities and characteristics that differentiate them from non leaders. Most the leaders have superb risk taking abilities that are very different from a non leader. If they believe in some project they work towards it no matter the difficulties faced they try to overcome it to achieve that vision .hard work pays for itself therefore I believe anything is possible with hard work.

Here in this report I have made a leadership trait study of two individuals from two different organizations. These two leaders are from the retailing industry. They are mentioned below:

Sam Walton : founder of Wal-Mart

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Wal-Mart is an American public corporation that has a chain of discount departmental stores and it also has number of warehouse stores. Wal-Mart according to Forbes global 2010 was rated has the world's largest public corporation by its revenue. Wal-Mart has been publicly traded on NYSE since 1972. Wal-Mart is the largest private employer and is the biggest grocery retailer in United States of America. It has 8600 stores in fifteen countries and it is under 55 different names. Wal-Mart stores are there in fifty states and they are operated under its own name. The company brings revenue of billions of dollars a year.

Kishore biyani : MD and CEO of future group

Pantaloons, big bazaar, food bazaar are all part of future group. Some of the regional brands of the company include depot, shoe factory, brand factory, blue sky. Head quartered in Mumbai has almost thousand stores in about seventy one states in the country. It is also the country largest retailer by its revenue. It employees almost thirty thousand people in the country.

Here in this report I am going to do an in depth study on the different kinds of leadership style and theories that are related to this two leaders. These two leaders have played a major role in starting their companies and making them the way there company is right now.


Here the focus of study is based on the different kinds of leadership theories associated with the leaders who have contributed a lot to their companies. In this report the qualities of leaders will be studied and the effect of these qualities on their companies will also be studied. In this report I will be also discussing how their leadership styles have affected the independent variables such as productivity and turnover of their organizations. I will also be finding out what changes have to be taken in their leadership style considering the future of the companies.


To understand the concept of leadership theory related to these leaders.

To find out which type of leaders they are and to find their leadership characteristics and style.

How their leadership styles have contributed to the success of their company.


There are two ways of collecting data. They are the primary data and the secondary data.

Here I have made my report using secondary data which consist of official websites of companies, literature books, and e-books to collect data to understand the leadership theories. I have taken data regarding the conceptual part from the literature books. I have also studied about their leadership qualities through the organization official websites. I have also read two books regarding these leaders through which I have collected data as well. Data regarding these leaders are taken from published books therefore the details in the report are best to my knowledge.


Qualities of a good leader are shown below :











Integrity: A leader who has integrity is one who is same on the outside as well as in the inside .Such a person can be trusted because he or she won't deviate from his or her inner values. Trust of the followers has to be won from the followers and therefore a leader should display integrity. Perfect dealings, well controlled emotions and absence of sudden outburst are all a part of integrity. If a leader has good integrity he can be approached by his followers more easily.

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Dedication: It means giving whatever energy or time that is required to complete the task at hand. He should do whatever it takes so as to keep moving forward so as to reach that goal. A leader has to be an example to their followers. Dedication from every employee plays a vital role in very organizations success.

Humility: A leader who has humility believes that they are no better or worse than other members in their team. A good leader is one who does not involve in self-effacing but always tries to elevate everyone in the team. Mahatma Gandhi is an excellent example of these.

Creative: It is ability of the leader to think differently. A good leader should always think outside the box. Creativity helps leaders to see thing which others have not seen and hence leads their followers in a new way. A good leader should always think "what if…?"

Openness: It is the ability of a leader to listen to new ideas even if it is very different from the normal way of thinking. If they believe in a certain idea suggested by others then they should go with it even if it is out of the ordinary. Openness helps in creating trust and mutual respect between leaders and their followers. And it also helps in providing the organization with new ideas.

Assertiveness: A good leader should be assertive in nature so as to obtain desired results. It is the ability of a leader to clearly state what he expects such that there are no misunderstandings. Along with this the leaders should exactly know what his followers are expecting from him. Based on a study in 2007 February issue of journal of personality and social psychology, that was published by American psychological association it was found out that assertiveness was the most common weakness among most of the leaders.

Fairness: It is the ability of a leader to deal with others justly and consistently. A leader should check the facts and then here to everyone before taking the judgment. Based on incomplete evidence a leader should never take a decision. When people feel the leader is treating them fairly only then the employees become loyal and dedicated in what they are doing. He should understand every ones point of view and analysis and take a proper decision.

Intuition: A good leader should possess instinctive knowledge so as to make excellent decisions. Few people are gifted naturally with this and others have learned it or have developed it through experiences. One thing is for sure for effective leadership intuition plays a very important role. Most of the times good leader rely on intuition so as make excellent decision. It's not what you make others do its about who you are, how much you know and how you do it. Effective leadership is all about finding skills and talent from many people and forming a cohesive unit. Intuition plays a very important role in every leader in these ways.


Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish

The key to success is to get out into the store and listen to what the associates have to say. It's terribly important for everyone to get involved. Our best ideas come from clerks and stock-boys

Individuals don't win, teams do

Money and ownership alone aren't enough. Set high goals, encourage competition, and then keep score.

Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish

Commit to your business. Believe in it more than anybody else

I probably have traveled and walked into more variety stores than anybody in America. I am just trying to get ideas, any kind of ideas that will help our company.

Leadership qualities of Sam Walton would include dedication, humility, creative, openness, fairness, intuition


We believe that in India we have the opportunity to grow for the next two to three years. We believe at the moment consumers are feeling psychologically stronger than they ever were to spend.

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"It's not a matter of can we take on foreign retailers, but how big a gorilla you are."

Who have helped you, share your success with those people

Change your goal according to situation or be flexible

Listen to others and learn from their ideas

Leadership qualities of kishore biyani would include openness, dedication, humility and creative.

Path-goal theory: this theory tells that it is the job of a leader to assist his followers for attaining their goal. The leader should also provide the direction and support to make sure the goals are compatible with the overall objectives of the organization .In the path goal theory the behavior of the leader includes directive, participative, supportive and achievement oriented.

Trait theory: Trait theory gives a clear idea between the leaders from the non leaders through these big five personality framework-

Leadership traits: (Robbins & Judge, 2009)



Openness to experience

Emotional stability


Transformational Leadership: These leaders are those who gains trust and respect and pass a sense of pride to their followers, they also give a vision of the goals that are to be attained. They show respect to their followers and also provide attention to their followers. These leaders pass on an extraordinary effect on to their followers. They encourage their followers to be more creative and innovative just like themselves

Transactional leadership: these leaders are those who motivates followers so as move to in the right direction so as to reach the set goals. They help the followers by clarifying their roles .they provide rewards when the followers gives high performance. If deviation occurs they take measures so as correct it. They only get into action when the standards are not met.

Authentic leaders: Here the leader is considered as an ethnical leader by the followers. These leaders know who they are and they also know what they believe in and they value it. These leaders act on their values openly and candidly. The main quality of this type of leader is trust. These leaders believe in their ideals and sticks to them. They also encourage open communication these are few characteristics of this type of leadership.



Sam Walton was a businessman from Oklahoma and he had lots of difficulties in his college years. He had couple of jobs like in restaurants, paper boy etc...With lot of difficulties he managed his way out of college with B.A in economics. He believed in the retailing industry and he strongly believed America had lot to offer in the retail market. After leaving the military Walton took his first job in management of the Ben Franklin store that was in Arkansas at the age of 26.This store was a franchisee of the butler brothers. It was very successful because he was able to provide good at a very low cost by taking good from the lowest cost supplier. By Walton's leadership the turnover had gone by 7 times annually. Within a short span of time Walton was able to create a retail empire. At present there is thousands of Wal-Mart all round America. His leadership played a very important role in the success of the company. He is known as the king of the retail industry. There are about 2.1 million employees in the company. He always believed in the team and inspired his followers to think big and create new ideas. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish this was the concept he believed in.

The big five personality frame work applies to him because he is having characteristics like openness to experience, emotional stability, agreeableness, extroversion and conscientiousness. He looks into different ideas and doesn't stick to one he is very flexible and if he believes in an idea he goes along with it to reach that goal he has set.

Based on his study Sam Walton is a transformational leader because he gives personal attention to his co workers and also tells that few of the best ides in the company comes from clerk and stock boys. He provides vision and also gives rewards for the work they do. His leadership style has always had an extraordinary effect on his followers.

Traits of authentic leaders are also seen in him because he knows who he is, and also believe in what he does and he acts on his values. If Sam believes in an idea that is superb and might be out of the ordinary if he believes in it, he works hard so as to achieve it no matter what


Kishore biyani is an exceptional leader and he is also known as the Indian Sam Walton. After completing his graduation in the commerce background. He went into the readymade garment retailing field without joining his family business. He believed in his own ideas while starting has a entrepreneur. Today he has a retail space of 3 million square feet and his future group is spread about 25 cities in India. Bloomberg business week has rated him has top 50 most powerful people in India according to 2009.There was an interview of in kishore biyani in CNBC-TV18 .when the interviewer asked him while starting your first business in Calcutta ,was it a success because of a pure gamble. To which he replied saying it was never a gamble, he told he knew what he was doing and was sure it would work. He also told that there were no signs or number calculation behind it. It was a gut and also an instinct that told him that it work. And when the interviewer asked him what do you think is the most required asset in company he replied saying to find the right people in the industry will be his biggest challenge. From this it's clearly understood he is team player. He always believed in his team.kishore biyani is also known for diversifying from his field to different in the industry. According to the Hindu business line it was said that kishore biyani is going g to start their mobile services soon. Kishore biyani has also been chosen as the international retailer of the year by the national retail federation in United States of America

Based on study on leadership I believe that kishore biyani can be related to the path goal theory he assists and shows them the way so as to reach their way. He tells them how the work has to be done in their organization and also makes sure the overall objectives of the company are met. kishore biyani sets a high standard and tries to achieve that goal and he always wanted to be the best not the biggest ,this shows us that he is achievement oriented and supportive with regard to the employees.

Based on the study I believe that kishore biyani is a transformational leader and also traits of authentic leadership can be seen in him. He is a transformational leader because he has brought flexibility and creativity into the company from the starting of the company till were it is today .kishore biyani has inspired many followers and has left an extraordinary effect on his followers mind. This leaders are able to make their followers to look at old problems in new ways are made capable of making their followers to think in a differ way so as to achieve their group goals. Traits of an authentic leader are also seen in kisore biyani. Kishore biyani sticks to the ideals which he believes in and encourages communication that is open. Authentic people have the power to make people to put their faith in the leader.