Lesson 6º








Basic Characteristics of the leader

A leader has a lot of qualities.

In this lesson we are going to point out the qualities which can be considered basic (they are necessary in a leader) whilst in the next lesson we will analyze other complimentary qualities (they contribute to the figure of the leader).

The leader should posses all of these basic qualities, basically some more than others, but all of them should be present.

The absence of some of them will make being an authentic leader very difficult.

Basic qualities:

Visionary: the leader is characterized by his vision in the long term, to go ahead with events, anticipate problems and detect opportunities before others.

The leader is not happy with what there is, he is a non confirming person, he is creative and he likes to think ahead.

Active person: the leader not only sets demanding objectives but he also fights hard to reach them, without giving up, with great persistence, which constitutes to the key of his success.

The leader is not happy just dreaming, the leader wants results.

Brilliant: the leader stands out from the rest of the group, because of his intelligence, fighting spirit, clarity of his thoughts, etc or probably because of a combination of everything.

Courage: the leader is not afraid of difficulties; the goals that he proposes are difficult (although not impossible) it is necessary to overcome many obstacles, to convince a lot of people, but the leader is not discouraged, he is really convinced of the importance of his objectives and he will fight for them, overcoming obstacles that he is faced with.

The leader defends his convictions with determination.

He generates enthusiasm: the leader manages to make the team enthusiastic; they believe that the leader’s goals are positive not only for the company but also for the employees.

The future that the leader offers is so suggestive that it’s worth fighting for.

One of the fundamental characteristics of the leader is, knowing how to create enthusiasm, making the group enthusiastic and getting them to share the objectives.

If the leader doesn’t have a team that follows him, a person with the same characteristics will be a solitary wolf but never a leader (leadership is always linked to the team).

Great communicator: another quality which allows him to “sell” his vision by letting the team know his plans in a suggestive manner.

Convincing: the leader is persuasive; he knows how to present his arguments in such a way that he manages to gain support from the organization.

Great negotiator: the leader is a very skilled negotiator. The fight for his objectives demands him to continuously negotiate not only with the company, but with clients, suppliers, financial entities, shareholders, etc.

The leader shows a special skill to advance in the long journey towards his objectives.

Capacity to command: the leader should base his leadership on the art of conviction, but also he has to be able to use his authority when it’s necessary.

The leader is a comprehensive person, but not a bland person (if this were the case his subordinates would loose respect towards him).

The leader can not abuse his power to “order and command” as if he does this it will be impossible to motive the team, but he should be capable of applying his authority without taking his finger off the pulse.

Demanding: with his employees, but also, with himself. The fight for some difficult goals requires a certain level of excellence at work which is only achieved with a high level of excellence.

If the leader is demanding with his employees but not with himself he will not be a leader, he will be a despot that turns the whole organization against him.

Charismatic: if in addition to the previous characteristics, the leader is a charismatic person, he can be classified as a complete leader.

Charisma is a natural skill used to seduce and attract people; it is an authentic people magnet. Charisma can be used to win over a team; it can make a team feel attracted to the leader.

However, it is necessary to point out that it is possible to have a leader that is not charismatic.

For a company it is preferable to have a leader without charisma but who has a high level of honesty, as a charismatic leader can use the organization for his own benefit.

Honesty: some high ethnic values are fundamental in order for the leader to stay a period of time and these values can not be bluffed.

The team needs to be confident in their leader, they need to be absolutely convinced that their leader is going to act honestly and that he is not going to leave them in the lurch.

If the subordinates detect that the leader doesn’t play clean and that he is only interested in himself, they will loose confidence in him. Once this process is underway it is very difficult to stop it.

Reliable: the leader has to be a person that sticks to his word: what he promises he needs to carry out.

If he does this the team will have blind confidence in him.

Coherent: the leader has to live what he predicts.

If he demands dedication, he needs to be the first to show this; if he talks about austerity, he has to give an example; if he demands loyalty, he has to show it.

The leader should always practice what he preaches: he can not demand something from his subordinates if he is not prepared to do it.

Besides, the message from the leader should always be coherent.

He can not think in a certain way today and in a radically different way tomorrow: this would confuse his team.

This does not imply that he can not develop his approach.