Lesson 7º








Additional characteristics of a leader

In this lesson we will point out other important characteristics of a leader which strengthen his position.

Hardworking: the leader should show great dedication to his work, he should practice what he preaches, to work hard; he should allow the group to see him working hard.

The leader can not demand more dedication from his employees if he does not practice what he preaches.

The leader should be capable of carrying out a balanced life by combining his professional life with his personal life, family life and social life.

The leader should show his employees that having a strong professional dedication with a rich private life is perfectly compatible.

The enthusiasm, energy and excitement that a leader illustrates can only be achieved with an intense, entertaining and varied life.

The leader is a person that knows how to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Perseverant: the goals that the leader fixes are difficult to reach and can only be achieved with a great deal of effort.

The obstacles will be numerous and sometimes the obstacles can weaken the leader. Only perseverance (an authentic obsession for reaching the objectives) will help the leader achieve his goals.

Flexible: the circumstances are always changing, what is good today might not be good tomorrow, the collaborators have their own criteria’s and sometimes they can be better than the leader’s.

The leader that entrenches himself in his position is called a failure.

An authentic leader does not fear that if he changes his point of view or accepts a colleague’s opinion he is showing signs of weakness. On the contrary, he would project an image of an open, flexible, pragmatic person that would contribute to increasing his prestige amongst his colleagues.

Self-Control: the leader is the reference of the group, he should be capable of controlling his emotions, especially in delicate moments, he can not show his dejection in front of a negative event (if he falls, the organization will crumble).

The leader has to be a strong person, capable of showing serenity and instilling tranquillity in the difficult moments.

On the whole, the leader determines the organization’s state of mind.

If the leader appears optimistic, enthusiastic and energetic, his staff will develop this state. If on the contrary, he appears pessimistic, unenthusiastic and worried, the organization’s state of mind will also sink.

Prudent: Although the leader is a person that assumes risks, he doesn’t stop being prudent.

He is responsible for the company; the welfare of many families depends on him, that’s why he can not act in an irresponsible way.

The leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of his organization, he respects his adversaries, and he assures controlled risks after a rigorous analysis.

The leader has to fight against haughtiness, which is understood as an excess of auto sufficiency which can lead him to loose his prudence.

Realist: the leader always has his feet on the ground, he knows how to combine his vision in the long term with his day to day vision. He knows the difficulties that his objectives entail and the effort that he demands from his employees. He should also know his own limitations

Fair person: the leader should be (and seem) a fair person, not only when demanding things, but also when examining things and he should want the organization to see him like this.

The leader can not allow comparative insults.

The leader should recognize the skills and weakness of his collaborators from an objective point of view. He should be equally demanding with everyone and impartial with the rewards.

The employees understand and accept that you demand things from them. However, they will never tolerate injustice.

Human: the leader is a close, friendly, understandable person. This quality is basic to achieve, not only the respect of the team but also their regard.

Accessible: the leader has to be an accessible person for his team; he has to be available for all employees that have something to say.

If you want the organization to be with you, the organization needs to know you, to see that you are one more of them.

If you want them to appreciate you, you have to give them the opportunity to get to know you.

A distant leader doesn’t find it easy to motivate: in the best cases he produces indifference and in the worst cases he creates rejection.

Humble: humility implies acknowledgement, one’s own limitations, knowing how to listen and ask for advice, recognizing the mistakes one commits and the skill of others. Humility isn’t a synonym of weakness, but of a realistic person, with his feet on the ground. Humility helps gain the respect of the group.

A leader that appears arrogant will turn the organization against him.

Generous: generosity is fundamental in a leader. The employees have deposited their confidence in him. They are interested in the future of the company and they are worried about their personal situation.

The professional relationship transpires when the worker does his job and gets his salary, a professional career, learning, etc.

If the leader demands too much, he should be equally generous in the retributions, recognition and rewards.

Educated: the leader should worry about his personal development, about reaching a high cultural level.

The leader will have to deal with numerous people, speak in public, attend meetings, visits, etc and he needs to know how to behave in each circumstance (he is representing the company).

Knowledge is a fountain of ideas, many of which can be applied to the organization.

Eager: the leader is a nonconformist who likes to investigate and learn from people. This eagerness should make the leader permanently investigating new alternatives, making sure he is ahead of the group.

In the real world, a conformist will end up being immediately obsolete.

Sense of humour: humour is fundamental in life, being especially useful in difficult moments.

People identify themselves with people that know how to see the funny side of life. The leader that abuses his seriousness finds it hard to generate enthusiasm amongst employees.

The leader needs to be aware that there are moments for formalities and moments for ease and that by using these moments he is not going to lose respect, but, on the contrary, he will manage to reach out to his collaborators.

Optimistic: optimism is contagious; it spreads to the rest of the organization. The optimist is the person that is not afraid of difficulties, that sees obstacles as being surmountable; this makes him act with a level of audacity that allows him to reach some goals that a normal person wouldn’t even dream about.

Besides, an optimistic person quickly recovers from failures and usually always looks ahead.

Good physical shape: the leader tends to look after himself, he has a healthy life, he does exercise, watches what he eats, etc. This is the only way he can conquer his job.