Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Dr. Comfort Okpala


Much has been said about personality and leadership. Leadership was initially attributed to leaders only having certain traits and attributes (Nock, 1940). In the early 20th century, leadership traits were studied to determine what made certain people great leaders. The Great Man Theory of Leadership, which was introduced during this time period, suggested that leaders were born and not made. It was these unique physical traits and attributes that were credited with making great leaders. Herbert Spencer, a noted philosopher, sociologist, biologist and political theorist of the Victorian era, countered that the Great Man Theory was childish, primitive and unscientific. He believed leaders were products of their environments. He advocated that before a “great man” can remake his society, that society has to make him. Overtime, this position of leadership has evolved into a leader needing more than just special physical traits to lead. Previous studies by Terry Newell reveal that self-awareness is essential for leaders and their development. Without understanding themselves, leaders can neither draw on their strengths nor mitigate their weaknesses. The research conducted in this study examined are there differences in relationships between personality traits as measured by the workplace big 5 and leadership behaviors as measured by the leading managers 360 assessment for senior and mid-level managers. The findings were gathered through the use of a secondary data set from the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC. The sample population of the dataset consists of N=1497 of public and private sector leaders from across the world who attended professional development training through the Center for Creative Leadership. The result of the findings indicated there is no difference in the relationship of personality traits and leadership behaviors for senior level and mid-level managers. The findings do 2 highlight the need for further research to determine if there are any relationships between personality traits and leader behaviors independent of management levels.