Leadership in Practice

Mioara Bolozan, EMBA 2004

“I do not believe the idea that one is born as a leader - it is not like the colour of your eyes or the shape of your body that are already pre-defined. I do believe that there are personality traits, which are inherited, and therefore we are born with them, however, they manifest themselves later and make leadership potential in a person more visible. They might emphasize or not one’s style of leadership that others see”.

I am also sure that personality is at the basis of our attitude towards challenges and life exams. We also call it character when an individual reaches maturity. I know that there is no good leadership without a positive and well rounded character.
All the leaders that I’ve met and admire have a differentiating point: the way they treat people. Therefore, I would like to share some hints about this topic that I found very useful in practice:

  • Take a deep consideration and pay attention to each member of your team. Select them well and make sure they complement the team. Make sure they have enough self-confidence to express their opinion that are different than yours. Otherwise, you will just be “echoed” and creativity is put in danger.
  • Never compromise on ethics. It is about the character which can be shaped, but not changed. It is like a river. You cannot change the course of it by yourself, therefore, it is very likely that a person who makes concessions on ethics, will do it over and over again. You cannot act like a police officer: it is time-consuming and not something that can be taught at MBA classes.
  • “Empowerment” is a dream concept when you can implement it. I discovered that the key to success is to check the readiness of the person to be empowered. If he/she is not ready you can follow all the other steps about delegation/communication/support by the book, still the empowerment you are trying to achieve will not work.
  • “Ownership” – is another buzz word of corporate culture of today. It’s all about responsibilities and awareness of the fact that each person in your team is responsible for different lines of actions. As a leader, you have to make sure that you, yourself, fit well with the vision of the company, otherwise you run the risk of getting very fast from “ownership” to “possession” which can easily lead to you finishing your work for the organisation altogether.

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