In this introductory editorial we provide a brief overview of the history of individual difference research in leadership. We explain the major challenges that trait research faced and why it was revived primarily because of methodological advancements. Next we argue that leadership individual difference research is at a cusp of a renaissance. We explain why we are at this cusp and what researchers should do reify the renaissance in terms of theoretical extensions of trait models the application of robust methodological advancements and the development of process models linking distal (i.e. traits) predictors to proximal predictors (e.g. behaviors skills attitudes) and the latter to leader outcomes. We then summarize the papers we accepted for the special issue and conclude with an optimistic note for leadership individual difference research.
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