The relationship between leaders’ personality preferences, self-esteem and emotional competence is the focus of this
article. A study was conducted to analyse the responses of a sample of 107 South African leaders in the
manufacturing industry to measures of the three constructs. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Culturefree
Self-esteem Inventories for Adults (CFSEI-AD), and the 360° Emotional Competency Profiler (ECP) were
administered. Positive relationships were found between the three constructs. The self-esteem construct appeared to
be a more reliable predictor of emotional competence than the MBTI personality preferences. The findings of the
study make an important contribution to the expanding body of knowledge concerned with the evaluation of
personality variables that influence the effectiveness of leaders.