People in leadership positions often have more influence and prestige but also more responsibility and stress than other employees. In terms of personality, they often differ from others even before taking the leap into leadership. Leaders aren’t born—they develop over time, often starting long before they take on a leadership role,” says Eva Asselmann,
one of two psychologists who analyzed data from the study “Living in Germany” to find out exactly how people become leaders. Asselmann and her colleague Jule Specht analyzed data on nearly 2,700 leaders and 33,700 non-leaders
and found that in the years before entering leadership, leaders are more extroverted, open, emotionally stable, conscientious, and willing to take risks than non-leaders. They also believe more strongly that they have control over their own lives, and they place more trust in other people.
These characteristics gradually return to baseline levels after individuals take on a leadership role. But self-esteem continues to increase in leaders over the long term.