Original Research

The Relationship Between Personality Type And Leadership Focus

Grant Sieff, Louis Carstens
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 4, No 1 | a84 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v4i1.84 | © 1970 Grant Sieff, Louis Carstens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 November 2006 | Published:

About the author(s)

Grant Sieff, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Louis Carstens, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Optimising focus is a key success driver for many organisation leaders. The relationship between personality type and leadership focus is examined. Personality type is assessed with Form M of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, and leadership focus is explored through the development and application of a Leadership Focus Questionnaire. South African executives form the target population for this study. Both functionalist and interpretive approaches are applied. Three primary theoretical hypotheses about leadership focus, concerning (1) optimising the balance of focus between external and internal priorities, (2) the fit between the leadership personality type and the organisation type, and (3) the capacity to manage a multiple focus, are considered. Results show that Extraverted personality types are more comfortable with the challenges of focus in the leadership role than are Introverted types, and Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking and Judging types experience a greater degree of fit with their organisations than do Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling and Perceiving types.


Personality type; leadership


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