Leadership Traits - Conscientiousness

Conscientiouseness, one of the leadership traits, reflects the degree to which a person is dependable, responsible, perseveres, and is achievement oriented. In addition, conscientiousness shows itself in concern for following established rules.

Leaders who show a high degree of conscientiousness in their leadership traits tend to:

  • Be highly task focused
  • Have high concern for legal and rules issues
  • Be ethical and hold their teams to high ethical standards
  • Engender a sense of control over the environment in their team
  • Be driven for a need for structure

These positive contributions are valuable in any organization. These leaders can often see more efficient work processes and structures that will support increased effectiveness in the workplace.

The sense of control felt by teams reporting to a conscientious leader often flows from the leader's ability to be steadfast and to implement structure in the environment. In addition, teams will observe that the leader works as hard, if not harder and longer, to accomplish the task.

Leadership Conscientiousness

Conscientious leaders contribute in numerous ways. One way is taking seriously all the expected roles of a leaders and modeling those roles. The conscientious leader works hard to achieve everything required by the organization and almost never drops the ball.

The conscientious leader behaves ethically and expects others to do so as well. There is no compromise on ethical, legal and safety standards. Holding the team and the organization accountable for maintaining high standards in these areas is one strong contribution.

Leadership Tips

  • If your industry is highly regulated, involves personal and/or environmental safety, or bread and butter issues affecting customers, look for leaders with a high degree of conscientiousness.
  • Industries in flux or requiring intense innovation and creativity may want to seed the organization with leaders who are somewhat lower in conscientiousness.
  • Conscientious leaders can and do deliver. If a conscientious leader reports to you, take care not to overburden and burn out this leader through excessive delegation. We are often tempted to delegate to those who produce every time and let development of the less skilled slide because "it takes too much time." Even conscientious leaders have a limit to what they can accomplish.
  • Depending on the conscientious leaders other traits and skills, he or she may tend to lean toward task more than people. Observe, and if this is the case, coach toward a balance with relationship development and teamwork.