P. Edronkin

People and leaders (II).



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What is leadership?

The problematic that managing people in a good sense implies is a science and an art in itself. It requires knowledge, experience and common sense. This collection of abilities is called leadership.

These qualities are required to lead groups of people under strenuous circumstances, and in order to successfully attain any kind of common objectives. Although there are no diplomas or college degrees that can unequivocally certify at least a minimum degree of leadership competence, those individuals who possess such a talent are, in the long run, better positioned to take control of any organisation than even those more qualified in other academic realms.

This is due to the innate instinct that a true leader has in order to sense and take advantage of opportunities, and because the good predisposition towards the leader felt by properly managed subordinates - an essential characteristic of a good manager - also collaborates in his or her own career.

Be it a recommendation, a formal inquiry or a simple comment, the opinions and predisposition of those placed in a subordinated role always develop some degree of positive or negative influx in the possibilities of a leader, both during day-to-day chores as well as during strategic or long-term developments.

There are good and bad ways to lead. Taking aside factors such as the technical expertise applicable in given fields of interest, the ability that any individual placed in a power role has to lead and convince others to do what he or she wants is decisive despite all other considerations. An unconvincing leader will not get others to do what is correct, and a convincing person will even lead others to make mistakes.

An expert in specific areas does not necessarily make a good leader: Dr. Bernardo Houssay, a former winner of the Nobel Prize for his medical research is remembered as one of the worst professors at Buenos Aires University.

In other words, technical prowess is not necessarily related to the abilities required to manage people. Leadership is a talent and skill itself, and within an organisational context, it is probably the most important.




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