You Have What? Personality! Traits That Predict Leadership Styles for Elementary Principals


This study of 242 teachers and paraprofessionals explored relationships between the followers’ perceptions of the elementary principal’s Big Five Personality Traits and the followers’ perceptions of the elementary principal’s Full Range Leadership Model for one school district in South Texas that included 8 elementary schools that participated in the research. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X Short (MLQ) (Bass & Avolio, 2004), The International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) (Goldberg, 1999), and a demographic survey created by the researcher, was used to collect data. This sample of convenience used a multiple regression to find correlations. Partial correlations and t-tests were used for further analyses. This particular study was based on followers’ perceptions and did not support previous research that Extraversion is a predictor of leadership style. The study found relationships between perceived personality traits and leadership styles for four out of the five personality traits. Open, Agreeable, and Emotionally Stable principals were perceived to be Transformational Leaders. Open and Emotionally Stable principals were also perceived as Transactional Leaders. When principals were rated as Conscientious and Emotionally Unstable, they were perceived as Passive-Avoidant Leaders. The personality and leadership style that the principal’s project does impact the followers’ perceptions. Most studies in the literature review include self-ratings of personality and leadership while the present study used followers’ ratings of the leader’s personality and leadership. Perception is reality. Surprisingly, the followers’ ratings for principals’ leadership styles and Extraversion were non-significant.

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Garcia, M. , Duncan, P. , Carmody-Bubb, M. and Ree, M. (2014) You Have What? Personality! Traits That Predict Leadership Styles for Elementary Principals. Psychology, 5, 204-212. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.53031.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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