The Role of Temperament in Leadership.

How Your Temperament Influences Your Leadership Style:

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As we are already aware that our temperament influences everything we do in life. From how we behave in our small family unit to how we act in public and eventually how we’ll lead others if given the opportunity to be at the helm of affairs. Infact, by just knowing a person’s temperament, one could be able to predict correctly the kind of leader they’ll be if they’re given the opportunity, or the kind of policies they will initiate when leadership is placed on their shoulders. Every human being is unique and distinct, thanks to the temperament we’re born with.

Even though we’ve got two or more of of these temperaments combined in different proportions in us, but there’s always a predominant one which has an overwhelming influence on our behaviors. One person could be sanguine by nature but still possess some choleric or melancholic traits. Another person could also be a natural phlegmatic, but also has some traits of a sanguine in them.

Now, Depending on the ratio to which these temperaments are combined, we’ll naturally yield to their influence. This is why someone could sometimes behave like a sanguine and at other times, they could display some choleric or phlegmatic traits. Another could act like a melancholy now, and next time, you’ll find them behaving like a sanguine or a choleric. This obvious inconsistencies in traits and lifestyles is because we’ve got two or more temperament blends in us, as a result of the genes we inherited from our parents and even more from our grandparents.

For the categories of persons that the difference in ratio between their primary and secondary temperament is small. Say, 60:40 or 55:45, you’ll discover that this inconsistency in their traits will be much more visible, because they’ll be influenced almost equally by both their primary and secondary temperaments.

While for others, which the ratio of their primary to their secondary temparemt is very large, probably a 70:30 or 80:20. These people will be more consistent in their character, and they’ll yield more often to the influence of their primary or basic temperament, since it’s by a wider margin larger than that of their secondary temperament.

It’s basically for this reason that you’ll hardly find two persons behaving or acting exactly the same or respond and react to issues in similar way. These factors needs to be considered in deciding who gets into leadership positions, because the temperament a leader is born with, will definitely reflect in his leadership style. There are some books you can read in order to improve your style of leadership. You can check them out on this link.

Different times requires different leaders with a specific temperament:

Leadership is dynamic, but it should be progressive with the overall aim of impacting positively on the lives of your followers. As times change, leadership needs to change and leaders must also evolve to suit the time and adjust to the present reality. However, no one can give what they are destitute of. Thus, depending on the specific needs of a particular time and season, different temperaments with specific qualities and strengths are required in various leadership areas to engender the needed change in those areas.

Similarly, some temperaments are at different times required to mount various leadership positions in order to have an efficient and effective leadership. There are times that a very courageous, decisive and fearless choleric is needed to effect a change which a melancholy, sanguine or even a phlegmatic cannot achieve at that particular time.

At other times, it could be a highly intelligent, perfectionist and also self-sacrificing melancholy that can be trusted to be best suited for providing leadership. Despite how undisciplined a sanguine may be, it could be his charisma, cheeriness and lively disposition that is needed to make things better. And no matter how sluggish, docile and unmotivated a phlegmatic may be, it could also be his calmness, graciousness and very organized traits that is needed to weather the storm and get things to work very efficiently.

Melancholies and phlegmatics will usually succeed more at the helm of affairs when the situation and circumstances are very calm and peaceful, and not at a very precarious state or in a state of emergency. While a choleric could be the best person to entrust with leadership at a very critical situation where their natural courageous, decisive and determined strengths and qualities is necessary.

It is very obvious that, different temperaments has its own strengths and weaknesses that are peculiar to them. And for this reason, they are needed at different times to salvage a situation. Every temperament has something to offer, irrespective of their weaknesses, if leaders can understand this, and give everyone a chance then, we would be better for it.

Which Temperament Succeeds More In Leadership?

There’s no particular temperament that can be said to be the most successful in leadership, because the major weaknesses of that particular temperament will always be a major factor. Despite how visionary, decisive and fearless a choleric may be, he cannot succeed alone as a Leader since his bossy, unsympathetic, unemotional and aggressive nature will often hamper his success. Sometimes, his high-handedness and despotic style of leadership will get his followers lamenting.

A melancholy could be an intelligent, self sacrificing and also a creative individual, but his delay in taking decisions, perfectionist tendencies, pessimism and perhaps, selfishness, will be his greatest undoing. A sanguine may be a happy, lively, expressive and highly spirited personality who can lift up the spirit of everyone around him, but his impulsiveness, visionless and characteristic undisciplined nature plus lack of determination will be a clog in their wheel of progress. While a typical phlegmatic’s docility, lack of motivation and the fear of facing pressures and challenges will always hinder their success in leadership, inspite of their gentle, calm, gracious and positive disposition.

It’s therefore apparent that each temperament has its own peculiar weaknesses which will often manifest themselves when they occupy any leadership position. There’s no single temperament that can succeed in leadership on its own without the support of the other. Aggregating and coalescing the strengths of the basic or primary temperament of every individual in leadership is the surest way of achieving effective and efficient leadership.

Therefore, temperament should be a major criteria, and needs to be put into consideration for anyone who aspires to ascend any leadership position. Aspiring leaders must conduct a temperament test on themselves to know if they’re fit for the position they’re aspiring for at that particular time. And finally, leaders must endeavor to identify, assemble and properly place all the different temperaments in their respective areas of strength in the leadership structure, so that the strength of the primary temperament of each one of them will come to bare on their jobs. As our strengths are diverse, so also are our weaknesses, courtesy of the temperament we’re born with. But we must learn to pull our strengths together and manage our weaknesses in order to succeed in any leadership strata we find ourselves and impact positively on our followers.


Cholerics are born leaders. They are natural leaders who never shy away from any opportunity they’ve got to ascend to positions of leadership before any other temperament. But if they can work with a very intelligent and detailed melancholy or a calm and organized phlegmatic as their advisers or personal assistant and learn to delegate responsibilities to them, then they’ll be more successful in leadership.


Despite their intelligence, creative and self sacrificing nature, melancholies do not like to throw themselves up for leadership, even though they’ve got all it takes to succeed and be good leaders. But they prefer behind the scene roles or being the brain behind every major decisions. Melancholies works well with a productive and activity-prone choleric. Infact a melancholy and a choleric temperament partnering together in leadership will make an unbeatable team if a choleric’s bossy and domineering attitude does not interfere in their individual roles and responsibilities.


Sanguines major weakness of lack of determination and discipline will always find its way in their leadership duties, which will also rub-off on their followers. It’s in a group led by a sanguine you’ll find high level of indiscipline and unseriousness among the members, which also affects their Productivity. And when he realizes that things are not going well, his short, quick and explosive outburst will be immediately activated. A sanguine can become an effective leader if he can work closely with a determined choleric or a disciplined melancholy.


Despite their nice, calm and gentle nature, coupled with their high level organization, the phlegmatic’s lack of confidence, fear of facing pressures and their characteristic lack of motivation do not allow them put themselves up to occupy a leadership position except they’re being pushed, and probably when they’ve got no other choice than to accept it. Even though they’ve got all it takes to be good and excellent leaders. But they can only be effective leaders who can effect changes when they work very closely with a visionary and decisive choleric or a creative and self sacrificing melancholy.

Thanks for reading. If you find this post interesting, kindly buy me a cup of coffee or support to maintain this blog’s running cost. Thank you.

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