Lesson 5º








Leadership in life

It is very difficult to totally separate one’s work life from one’s personal life.

It is not common for a person to be a leader at work and then behave in a way that they conform with everything in their private life.

The leader usually acts with the same level of self demand, looking for excellence and ethical behaviour in all of his fields (professional, family life, personal, etc).

The same principals that the leader applies at work (honesty, dedication, innovation, decision making, worry for people, understanding) will be applied in his daily life.

The leader should be a coherent person, capable of maintaining his principles and not giving up on his team in favour of his professional career.

The leader has to be capable of defending his principles, although this can cause him some big professional setbacks.

Leadership: being able to passionately defend one’s ideas. This demands a solid person.

Besides, it is fundamental that the leader maintains a balanced life, dedicating time not only to his professional life, but also to his personal and family life.

Leadership entail a high level of responsibility and pressure, it requires a certain amount of enthusiasm and optimism, it demands persistence and dedication, it also demands capacity to convince, encourage, motivate, etc that only a person with a balanced life will be capable of giving their best and being on top of things.

So that a person can develop in all of his fields, he can not allow his professional life to absorb him. Everything is fundamental – remember to take advantage of life.

You need to take time from time (time is scarce, therefore you have to optimize).

Time flies and everyday counts: one day that is not taken advantage of is a day you have lost.

The leader can not loose a day.

Live intensely, making the most out of time, this does not mean you have to live quickly.

You have to be a leader throughout life, it is a long term career, which demands you to be sparing with your strength and not burn out in a rash “sprint” to do something.

Living life to the max allows you to attend to all of the human facets (personal, family, social and professional) and not neglect any of them.

Taking advantage of time demands you to plan: the leader has a thousand things to attend to and only good organization skills will allow him to be able to cope and dedicate time to what is really important and not waste time on insignificant issues.

If a leader does not do things this way, the day will absorb him, preventing him from taking care of more strategic aspects and slowly slowing the perspective of the future.

The leader needs to know how to prioritize: distinguish what is really important, and what isn’t so important.

Next act, the leader needs to know how to delegate: it is impossible to do everything.

The leader needs to concentrate on what is essential and delegate what he can’t do.

It is a good idea to know what is in your diary for the next few days (look at your diary Sunday night or early Monday morning to know what is going on the following week).

Make a list of what you have to carry out, fix objectives that you would like to achieve throughout the week.

The only way to avoid projects being postponed or never getting underway is by acting. For example, if the leader wants to improve his level of English, he can set himself a goal of having two hours of class a week (starting that week, why should you wait?) Fixing in your diary a day and time is like fixing an obligation that you will respect.

If the leader wants to improve the communication with his team, he should fix, for example, a weekly meeting (on a certain day and at a certain time) which everyone has to attend.

At the end of the week he should evaluate to what extend he has achieved his proposed objectives and see how these allow him to advance to his final goal.

The weekly objectives that he hasn’t completed should be set aside for the following week.

When planning for the week ahead it is essential to look for time to read, time for sport, leisure and especially time for the family. In fact, the leader should limit how much time he dedicates to work.

It is not logical, nor recommendable, to be in the office everyday from 9 in the morning to 10 at night.

If the leader decides himself to finish everyday at 19:30 (except on exceptional occasions) he will organize his day and he will set himself a work rhythm with the view to finish at a certain time.

Many directors try to be in the office the whole day. However, they are probably wasting their time, as they are neglecting their family, their friends and their own personal worries.