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I share this excellent article by Tomas Chamorro-Premuciz . He is one of the most incisive Leadership Gurus who uses evidence-based research work to help us better understand Leadership.Self evaluate yourself through this article …..

Everything humans have accomplished in our 300,000-year evolutionary history is the result of coordinated human activity. People set aside their selfish interests and agendas to collaborate effectively in the pursuit of a common goal. As it now turns out, this never happens without leadership, whether there is someone formally in charge, or not.

Indeed, the main difference between a high-performing team, and a group of people that cannot organise themselves effectively, is leadership. If we want to productively collaborate with others, it is not just helpful, but critical, to have someone allocating resources, assigning roles and tasks, directing, and guiding us, motivating us and keeping our egos in check.

Some people are much better at this than others, just like some people are better at singing, running, learning languages, or playing chess. Sure, anybody can learn to be a better leader, but some people have much more potential than others. There are even bigger differences when it comes to people’s willingness and desire to lead, especially if we examine their underlying motives and intentions.

Here’s a simple checklist you can use to determine whether you have what it takes to be a leader, based on 100 years of academic research on the science of leadership:

Do you have the technical expertise?

 In a rapidly changing job-market, hard skills-including knowledge, and experience- are less relevant than they used to be. But you still need to have credibility in your area of expertise to be legitimised as a leader and be respected by the team. This does not mean you have to be the smartest person in the room or make decisions without consulting others. But, to hire and manage smart people, and get a sense of when they are right, you need to have the right knowledge and expertise in your field.

Do you have the right personality?

Personality accounts for nearly 50% of the variability in leadership outcomes, more than any other trait. Although the “right” personality profile for being a leader will depend on the context and the situation, certain traits, such as emotional stability, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extroversion, and openness to experience, are more likely to describe high performing leaders than opposite traits (volatile, lazy and disorganised, rude, and narrow minded).

To be clear, you can perform highly as a leader irrespective of your personality, especially if you get coached or learn the right behaviours. But your probability of doing a good job will largely depend on the personality you have, just like your probability of learning to play the piano will largely depend on the musical talent you have. This is why there is no better way to elevate the quality of our leaders than to select the right people to begin with.

Are you a fast learner?

 Around 20% of the variability in leadership success depends on people’s reasoning and problem-solving ability (which scientists call intelligence). The more complex the world gets, the more data-driven you need to be, and the more your job requires you to learn new things, the more this ability to learn and think will matter.

Although people underestimate the value of intelligence in leadership, we are all too aware of the problems that emerge when we elect or select unintelligent people to leadership roles, especially when we have to work for them. The faster you learn and are able to reason, the better equipped you will be for leadership roles, and the more likely it is that you can future-prove your leadership potential. Great leaders are always a work in progress.

Are you an ethical person?

 It should be obvious that we don’t want to appoint unethical or immoral people to leadership roles, yet history – and the current media- are replete with case studies of smart and driven leaders who display antisocial, Machiavellian, and corrupt tendencies, seeking to accumulate power and status irrespective of what they do for others (see my next point)

Although nobody is a saint, just like nobody is 100% corrupt or evil, integrity is largely a character trait. It can be assessed by science-based tests, or by carefully scrutinizing past records, as well as reputation (particularly if you ask people who worked for them in the past). Culture matters, too. It is far more tempting for someone to behave immorally if they are part of a rotten culture, and vice versa. However, cultures are generally created by leaders, and reflect their values, behaviours, and decisions.

Are you purely driven by self-interest?

 Leaders, like all human beings, seek to fulfil certain personal needs or motives, but they make that fulfilment dependent on other’s success, notably team performance. This is unlikely to occur when the leaders are simply motivated by self-interest (e.g., greed, power, status, fame, or narcissistic ambitions). And yet, many people are tempted by leadership roles simply in order to advance their careers and professional accomplishments. They see leadership as a glamourous or career aspiration without understanding that the whole point is to serve others and enable them to work together in the pursuit of a valuable goal. When leaders are driven by self-interest, they will manage up rather than down, focus more on their reputation than on team performance, and take credit for others achievements, while blaming them for their own mistakes. Who wants to work for such people?

Do you care about other people?

 A minimum level of empathy and consideration are essential for effective leadership, so you can tame your own selfish tendencies and refrain from harming others. You need to care about your team to establish a human and humane relationship with the individuals who work for you. People don’t want to be led by a robot or machine. There’s no substitute for human validation.

As the world becomes more polarized by ideological and political divides, the ability to see things from other people’s perspective and unify people is an essential skill for modern leaders, especially if you want to create a diverse and inclusive culture in your team.

Do you have a clear Vision of what You are trying to accomplish?

People want to be inspired, energised, and lured into a meaningful journey. Telling people what to do, or how to do it, is what managers do. But if you want to provide them with a higher sense of purpose, with a meaningful mission, then you will need a compelling vision, and articulate it in an effective way. Today, people have lots of career choices, and there’s an unprecedented pressure on jobs to provide a higher sense of purpose. This is why visionary leaders are in high demand.

Can you bring up the best in others?

Just like you shouldn’t be a teacher if you cannot help people learn, you shouldn’t be a leader if you cannot make people work together. This means getting the best out of others and unlocking people’s potential. As Hermina Ibarra, a professor of organisational behaviour at London Business School, has argued, great leaders today are in many ways great coaches.

Are you willing to work hard?

For all attempts to describe highly accomplished people and distil the essential traits that explain their success, hard work is often forgotten. Nobody wants to work for someone who isn’t working even harder, and the ability to get the best out of your people is utterly useless unless you combine it with a strong work ethic.

Do you want to minimize stress and pain in your life?

 If the answer is yes, and you want to focus more on work-life balance, enjoy life, and be guided by your personal curiosity and interests, as well as managing yourself rather than others, then becoming a leader may not be for you.

A final consideration: There are many ways of being productive, happy, and successful without being a leader, including being a great follower or team member. In the west we have grown used to the idea that unless you become a leader you are somehow not successful, because you failed to climb to the top of an organisational ladder or accumulate status or power. The world will always need more followers than leaders, and good followers are critical to make leaders effective, and drive progress in the world.

 What was YOUR self rating and should YOU be a Leader ?

By Tomas Chamorro-Premuciz September 14, 2022