Personal Development

The great person theory says that some individuals have certain traits that make them best suited for leadership positions. Leaders are commonly thought to be assertive cooperative, decisive, dominant, energetic, self-confident, and tolerant of stress, willing to assume responsibility diplomatic and tactful, and persuasive. Although we can list traits and skills possessed by leaders, a large number of research studies conclude that we cannot predict who will become a leader solely from an individual's personality characteristics.
In most cases, the majority wins, but there are occasions when the minority has its day. How can the minority swing the majority? The minority cannot win through nor motive influence because it is outnumbered. It must do its work through informational pressure. If the minority presents its views consistently, confidently, and nondefensively, then the majority is more likely to listen to the minority's view. The minority position might hove to be repeated several times in order to create sufficient impact
In group situations, some individuals are able to command the attention of others and thus have a better opportunity to shape and direct subsequent social outcomes. To achieve such a high social impact, they have to distinguish themselves in various ways from the rest of the group. They have to make themselves noticed by others—by the opinions they express, the jokes, they tell, or by their nonverbal style. They may be the first ones to raise a new idea, to disagree with a prevailing point of view, or to propose a creative alternative solution to a problem. People who have a high social impact often .are characterized by their willingness to be different.
Certain individuals in a minority can play a crucial role. Individuals with a history of taking minority stands can trigger others to dissent, showing them that disagreement is possible and that the minority stand might be the best course. Such is the ground for some of I history's greatest moments. When Abraham Lincoln spoke out against slavery, the majority’s view was racist and was tearing the country apart a century later Rosa Parks refused to ride in the back of a bus. Her minority influence catalyzed the modern civil rights movement
Although the scale is smaller, the triumph might be the same for a gang member who influences the gang's decision not to vandalize, the woman executive who persuades her male colleagues to adopt a less sexist advertising strategy, or the ethnic minority stu¬dent who expresses his views in a majority White classroom.
By: Mira Williams
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