Leaders Using the Big Five Personality Inventory

The research shows that the Big Five personality inventory (or Five Factor Model of Personality) are distal predictors of leadership and organization effectiveness.
The purpose of the Big Five is not necessarily to define what are good or bad traits, which vary depending on the characteristics that work for each unique situation. Our personality makeup can be either an asset or a liability depending on the situation/context we are in.
Numerous individuals defy the norm, and these findings do not definitively imply that individuals with lower levels of conscientiousness or higher levels of neuroticism "cannot" achieve success...
No personality trait is superior to another. . Other research showed when introverts and extraverts using different but equally important skills, can have equal success. Introverts tend to seek out one-on-one relationships that may  help them to bond with others even more than extroverts.
In fact, some of our analysis shows that as we age… our personalities change. Individuals evolve, and the person you are presently, along with your characteristics, could undergo substantial transformations in the future. This implies that we all have equal opportunities to manifest the traits that empower us to excel.

Improve Leadership Effectiveness using Big Five  

We are humans so no one is going to fit into a perfect personality. Each of us possessesunder-developed areas which we are less comfortable with. Fortunately, we can be good at our role by working hard to achieve excellence in traits that don’t come naturally.
For example, you may be a deeply emotional individual but have the ability to regulate your emotions, concealing them from others. You understand that displaying stress is unprofessional, so you employ strategies to shield your emotions. Additionally, you schedule breaks between your meetings to recharge and alleviate self-imposed pressures.
Individuals grappling with an extreme tendency towards agreeableness can improve their ability to hold others accountable by considering assertiveness classes. Meanwhile, those who are extreme introverts and face challenges in business development might find it beneficial to explore options such as Toastmasters or focus on building connections through written communication like chats and texts rather than relying solely on in-person interactions.
Big Five is important  for leaders to understand different types of work traits, this understanding is for leaders to use it to improve their own awareness and leadership effectiveness which in turn should boost team’s performance, productivity, and job satisfaction. Using this information, you can adapt your motivational methods, assign different roles, create effective multi-dimensional teams, improve cohesion and collaboration. You can work with your team as individuals knowing what makes them tick, what stresses them out.

Applying the Big Five as a Leader

It is important for a leader to be aware of own work traits. A mercurial leader with vacillating emotions can negatively impact a team’s performance. If you are high in openness, your creativity or curiosity may bristle a more structured, detail-oriented subordinate.  
If your team is diverse and falling across the Big Five model, you likely cannot lead using a one-size-fits-all approach. You are suggested to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each individual and strike an appropriate balance as a leader.
Understanding your team’s Big Five can help you mentor, delegate tasks, manage them effectively and set your team up for success by ensuring individuals are in roles where they can thrive. As a leader, you will want to make sure you have a flexible, agile management approach to adapt your style and strategies across the range of Big Five personality tendencies.


The Big Five is not a magic wand, it is just another tool in the management box of tricks. It allows insight and understanding of the different characteristics that will inevitably make up your workforce. Just like all other tools, it will only be helpful if you know how to use it properly.