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While your cognitive abilities are the threshold competencies needed to get a job as a chair or dean, your personality and emotional attributes are the factors that enable you to be successful. No single personality type is required; in fact it is “fit”—your personality in the right place at the right time—that probably accounts for much of success. Nevertheless, there is a large literature suggesting that certain personality traits are pivotal to success. Extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness have repeatedly been correlated with leadership success. We argue that not having these traits is not disqualifying, as there are thresholds and ways to compensate, which make up a large part of this chapter. In the end, the most important issue is whether you understand the traits you have and whether you can adapt to them. Can you compensate for your weaknesses, not become blinded by your preferred methods of processing information, and find a way to enhance the contributions of others by deploying their strengths?

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Houpt, J.L., Gilkey, R.W., Ehringhaus, S.H. (2015). Personality Traits and Leadership. In: Learning to Lead in the Academic Medical Center. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-21259-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-21260-9

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