Purpose: Leadership is one of the crucial modern topics in the field of management. A leadership trait is one of the three components to be considered in establishing leadership success. The other two components not assessed in this research are ideal leadership behaviour and situational factors. Managers must act as leaders as they have a critical role to play to ensure effective change. This paper explores the leadership traits relevant to middle managers acting as leaders at Eskom. Design/Methodology/Approach: A theoretical analysis of literature in the field of leadership is conducted with a further focus on leadership traits. Quantitative research is done within Eskom by means of an e-mail survey to a random sample of employees on middle management level. Areas of possible improvement and leadership traits excellence are identified. Recommendations are made regarding leadership traits. Findings: The broad leadership trait categories tested include: intelligence; flexibility; sensitivity to others; stability; dominance; high energy; integrity (honesty and ethics); and finally locus of control. The most dominant traits based on the perception of the respondents are that they possess integrity, intelligence, high energy and the ability to act as leaders. Leadership traits that require great attention and are not as dominant are sensitivity to others, flexibility and to some extent stability. Implications: Managers must have the leadership ability and trait to influence employees in order to communicate, direct, negotiate and motivate with success. Teamwork and a relationship of trust are required in the modern and changing organisation in order to be successful in achieving organisational goals. Originality / Value: South Africa as well as Southern Africa could face an energy crisis in the near future. As Eskom is currently facing growing demand for services and is experiencing limitations to provide this continuous increase in demand, managers need to develop the leadership capacity with the appropriate traits to deal with this increasing threat
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