An investigation of the associations between personality and athlete leadership behaviours


Athlete leadership is defined as "an athlete occupying a formal or informal leadership role within a team and influences team members to achieve a common objective" (Loughead, 2017, p. 58). The study of athlete leadership is guided by numerous theoretical models such as the multidimensional model of leadership (Chelladurai, 2007). According to these models, personality will influence the behaviour of the leader. Very little research in sport has examined the relationship between personality and leader behaviour. This is unfortunate because personality traits are a precondition for leadership, providing the potential for leadership (Andersen, 2006).To better understand athlete leader behaviours, this study examined the relationship between personality and leadership behaviours of athlete leaders. Athlete leaders (N = 101) rated their agreement on the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999), and rated the frequency of their own leadership behaviours assessed by the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory (Callow et al., 2009) and Leadership Scale for Sports (Chelladurai & Saleh, 1980). Model fit indices from the path analysis support our model (?2/df = 1.10, CFI = .99, NFI = .92, RMSEA = .03). Further, the results showed the personality dimensions of openness to experience, extraversion, and conscientiousness predicted most of the leadership behaviours, while the other two personality dimensions (i.e., neuroticism, agreeableness) predicted at least one leadership behaviour. These findings provide evidence that personality is positively related to athlete leadership behaviours. The results indicate that athlete leader's personality should be taken into account when delivering any type of athlete leadership development program.