In recent years, there has also been a focus on the destructive side of leadership and how dysfunctional leaders can undermine an organization’s value. In fact, empirical research has focused on the personality characteristics of flawed leaders and have pointed to negative personality traits as predictors of leadership derailment (Hogan & Hogan, 2001; Kippenberger, 1997). There appear to be several personality traits that are related to leader failure yet the three that are consistent across all studies are narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, referred to as the “Dark Triad” (Paulhus & Williams, 2002).
When we speak informally about an individual’s personality, we may be referring to any number of qualities, from their temperament to their sense of humor, even the kind of media they like. However, in the social sciences, the study of personality focuses on enduring, reliable traits about a person that can be measured, and which are useful in predicting behavior (Saucier & Srivastra, 2015). The leading perspective on personality within the social sciences is the Five Factor Model, or the “Big Five”, which describes individuals in terms of their openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeability, extroversion, and neuroticism.