Leadership: What Makes a Good Leader?
27 de September de 2022
27 de September de 2022
If you look up “leadership” in the dictionary, it comes up as the position or fact of being the leader, or the person who deliberately exerts influence in a specific group with the objective of reaching a previously established goal.
The definition of leadership is clear but, which are the elements that make a good or bad leader? Here we enter more subjective grounds and arguing what’s good and what’s bad becomes a hard endeavor.
There’s no magical formula to establish which characteristics make good leaders, but it’s clear that there are a series of conditions that they must have in order to exercise leadership correctly.
Publications such as Delivering Happiness, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Leaders Eat Last, teach us the qualities and strengths of successful leaders. Many publications explore the different types of leaderships, the functions of leaders and the skills to develop in order to become one.
Being a good leader doesn’t depend exclusively on the knowledge acquired in the classroom, but rather on a combination of theory, experience, skill development and on the innate capacity that each person has to know how to lead.
And, from the point of view of those being led, what should leadership be like? The characteristics of leaders who help companies achieve their goals are as important as those that are most appreciated by its employees.
Georgina Barquín, Fátima Aldama, Bethlem Boronat, Maite Moreno, Miquel Serracanta, Guillem Domingo and Alejandro Alegret, shared with us what employees consider to be the most important qualities in their team leaders, managers, or CEOs.
The Ability to Adapt in Different Situations
A good leader has to know how to adapt to any given situation. In the current ever changing world we live in, it’s important to keep calm and know how to act if there are setbacks.
Leaders must always be vigilant and ready, both in their professional and personal life, since it’s practically impossible for their personal life not to interfere with work. “The line that divides both worlds is getting increasingly blurred: it’s a consequence of Bauman’s liquid world”, says Maite Moreno, Professor of Business Administration.
Experience Is a Plus
Regardless of the biological age of leaders, experience plays a fundamental role in the good execution of leadership.
Alejandro Alegret, Professor of Commercial Marketing, prioritises senior profiles since, the way he sees it, “experience, commitment and work commitment greatly exceed other profiles”.
Being Empathic and Listening
Good leaders have to be empathic with their employees and with themselves. They have to know how to understand where others are standing and take care of the workers’ needs so that they feel they are being listened to and increase their motivation.
“You have to know how to listen, incite participation and making it clear that it’s alright to make mistakes”, says Georgina Barquín, Professor of Managerial Skills.
“Good leaders must be empathic and, therefore, in some way, everything that takes place around them affects them… If they know themselves, they will be able to manage how it affects them and it won’t affect them so critically they won’t be able to do their job”, Bethlem Boronat, Master’s Director, explains to us.
Self-knowledge allows us to connect with ourselves, our feelings and deepest thoughts, which help us make better decisions. Knowing yourself means recognizing how others perceive us. Good leaders must be realistic in every aspect.
Flexibility is one of the fundamental traits of good leaders, breaking away from the traditional authoritarian model. Finding a balance between the two models is key for optimal leadership. Flexibility is also applicable to the capacity to adapt, to adjust to the changes that may come our way.
“Good leaders have to find the perfect balance between flexibility and the exercise of a high command position that involves making decisions that will not always be nice”, Guillem Doming, EAE Professor.
Good leaders must know how to manage a team and keep them motivated, optimising their capacities. Nowadays, there are many leaders but, do they all know how to lead?