How-to Spot a Great Leader

In an increasingly competitive world, where products and services are easily imitated, we need to identify the leaders, through the organization, which can promote the growth and development of the company.

How-to Spot a Great Leader

Two companies can have the same technology, capital, processes, ideologies, etc., but they do not have the same human talent. This last factor is the one that generates a real competitive advantage. Therefore, organizations must understand that leadership is a quality that should permeate all aspects of daily operations.

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The organizational structure of the companies is increasingly horizontal. The responsibility of leading does not depend on the top of the pyramid, but it lies with each employee. While all employees must lead, only great leaders are able to: elevate, empower, and engage others within the organization. They are capable of driving both individual and team performance, and innovation within the business.

Aspects that differentiate a great leader:

1. Helps others to shine

A leader does not have the need to demonstrate her or his own importance or value by overshadowing other colleagues, i.e., she or he is self-confident. Instead of promoting internal competition, a leader creates a mindset of collaboration, e.g., by constantly helping others to improve. She or he treats others as colleagues, not subordinates because their intention is not to direct and demonstrate their power but to meet the goals of the company.

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2. Cares about others

A leader engages, listens, empathizes, and acknowledges others, in other words, they show they care. They make themselves available to their teams both physically and emotionally. They are aware that they work with people, and as human beings, they go might go through situations both inside and outside work that impact their performance.

3. Has initiative and is accountable

They take action, for which they are constantly going out of their comfort zone, in order to carry out high-impact ideas despite the difficulties and risks they face. Leaders know that risk-taking is an essential part of innovation, and key to the survival and success of a company. They are aware that to generate change one must take action, and that represents a risk, but they rather run the risk of failing than be idle. When he or she or his or her team fails, they will be accountable, but they or won't hesitate to give credit for the work of those that help him or her succeed. They are also the ones that are constantly "doing the numbers," getting things done despite adverse situations.

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4. Does not stand-alone

Solving complex problems requires teams, not stand-alone experts. Great leaders build teams and a network on which they can rely. Their network boosts their capability to achieve their goals. The reason why they work really hard on getting to know people from distinct professional disciplines or from dramatically different cultures and life experiences. It allows them to be group-to-group bridge builders, which enables them to influence the mindset of their peers. They are the ones that usually know who to call in order to solve a nagging question, to get the job done, or how to deal with someone in particular.

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5. Does not care about who is right, but what is right

A leader is not the one who imposes her or his ideas on others, nor is the one who always speaks louder than the rest, but the one who listens to others, and when she or he speaks the rest stop to hear er or his opinion. They not only embrace dissenting opinions, but they seek them out at every opportunity. They know that their role is not limiting the options, so she or he lets others' ideas be discussed, in order to determine the best solution.

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