We talk, debate, read, analyze and write about the qualities of a leader. But from my point of view, one of the best ever is the balance between humanity and the leadership skills.
In the skills we can include many of the qualities which we speak about generally, those focused on business, organizational abilities. Those that make you have solutions even before a problem appears. And humanity is what we also can call empathy, compassion, personal involvement… It definitely is an important factor.
My opinion is that both components, the rational one and the emotional one, are complementary and necessary, with no exceptions. You must want to be a trustful leader, with the most sincere affection for the people you work with. And yet, you also want respect and your ideas to be useful for everyone and to be taken into account. You also must be competent, not just a friend. But being that without trust is not authentic leadership, it’s simply an imposed authority. And trust and affection without the skills and ambition is not leadership, if you don’t get success. Simple, right?
Well, true, but the issue is even more complicated. Or rather, more complex.
You see. Not only is the balance between both sides is necessary, but also the order in which we begin to build up you leadership with regard to relationships with members of your organization. While strength, skills and ambition are elements that help us to prove that we are capable of doing the job, we should not express them too much when making new contacts and especially when dealing with our teams. You may actually seem to be over-controlling or disinterested in people’s needs. Influence begins with human relationships, and human relationships are not based on numbers or results … they are based on understanding and humanity. This is a kind of business where the greatest force that moves everything is human relationships. That is, people.
Focus on connecting with people first, on taking care about relationships, on proving yourself trustful, showing honesty and listening to others. It’s not too complicated, but if it’s something you think you cannot do, then you’re probably working in the wrong industry. Consider other people’s needs and never forget them, create solid and long-term relationships with these people.
Then, once you have created stable relationships, then your skills, strength and leadership abilities come into play, so that the people you work with feel, apart from happy, sure to be working with the right person, a person who knows what to do and how it should be done.
Those who first show their skills and leave behind human relationships become threatening, authoritarian figures, people who, in the long run, even though they are very skillful, produce mistrust and lack and comfort. They make people around feel unhappy to work on their own team, have fear each time their leader wants to talk to them. Or those people just dont’t find anything useful in your words, because they may sound like an automatic lesson, empty of honesty.
In short, now that you know the “why”: build up relationships first, then use your knowledge and your leadership skills to lead the team. And keep a healthy balance between business and human relationships throughout the whole story. That could be the best quality a leader can develop.
“Like” Mariana Lopez de Waard’s page on Facebook in order not to miss anything! And if you want to be part of a strong and united team, please send a private message with your details, and she will contact you.