"Why were the Wright brothers able to come up with the first manned self-propelled flights when other, more qualified and better-funded teams failed to do so?" With this question begins one of the most viewed conferences on the TED Talks platform, delivered by the English writer Simon Sinek, in which he defends leadership as a determining element in any business project. According to Sinek, the successes and failures of a collective cause always have the same genesis: the bosses.
This importance of the human factor in the management of organizations causes great dilemmas when it comes to selecting the right people, since controversies always arise about what type of qualities should be valued, giving rise to one of the most recurring debates in management. Entrepreneurship: is leadership an innate virtue or is it a skill that can be learned?
Faced with this eternal dichotomy, black or white, it is recommended to undertake a firm defense of the gray scale, since it always helps to better understand reality. In fact, it is true that the exercise of leadership can be clearly facilitated by three personal characteristics of a genetic nature, but also that they will never be enough if they are not complemented with three other cognitive skills that can be acquired and trained.
Among the innate virtues, intellectual capacity stands out, since it is closely related to the ability to establish logical relationships and focus on important issues. Along the same lines, emotional intelligence is another bastion of the management function, because empathy is born from it, essential to understand the needs of others and propose correct solutions. And thirdly, a charismatic personality also has the advantage of generating adhesion in others through a kind of magnetism that is not sold in any store.
Regardless of the degree of sufficiency of these three hereditary qualities, various scientific studies tell us about experiential competencies, assigning them an even higher specific weight. In the first place, we find the culture of effort, perfectly synthesized in the book La fuerza de la ilusión , where the authors make a parallel between business management and the art of magic, demonstrating that perseverance and effort are the decisive factors for to be a good magician, far above innate ability or originality of ideas.
Constructive self-criticism is the second skill that can be worked on. The fact of normalizing the recognition of errors and cornering vanity is a really important issue, since it allows building a logic of continuous improvement that raises the levels of demand. In addition, sincere self-criticism motivates active listening, which is the talent to capture new ideas that are capable of breaking pre-established paradigms.
Finally, the third acquirable competence is kindness, which consists of paying attention to people and military in respectful treatment. In an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled "Don't underestimate the power of kindness at work", it is explained how this practice not only promotes the well-being and productivity of an organization, but also improves one's perception of oneself (self-esteem). ) and the image projected on others (reputation).
This mixture of the innate and the learned is what provides the true strength of leadership, which is not measured by the ability to impose ideas, but by the virtue of adding volunteers to the cause.