There are a lot of articles, theses, books and seminars about what makes a great leader. Some might say that, to be a great leader, you need courage, ambition and instinct. But, others could be right when they tell you that an outstanding leader has to have emotional intelligence, sensitivity and charisma. Both are right, of course. A successful leader needs to have lots of positive qualities. But, there is one in particular that is one-hundred-percent crucial to becoming the best leader ever: and that is, commitment.
Why is that? Roberto Mourey gives a perfect explanation. He is the founder and director of the Instituto Mettaliderazgo in Mexico, author of three books about personal leadership and former coordinator of the Strategy and Presidential Message Department of the Government of Mexico. Recently, I watched a video of one of his conferences on Leader Insights and it was quite revealing.
First of all, he affirms that you can’t be a leader if you try to emulate someone else, if you are a follower. Leadership is personal. The greatest leaders in history, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates, each had his or her own personal style. That’s why, to be a great leader, you need to retain your unique, personal style. But of course, there is more to it.
Secondly, Mourey talks about the “five senses of leaders:”
1. Sense of identity: Who am I, what values do I show to the world, how do I behave?
2. Sense of future: what kind of legacy do I want to leave behind, how do I want to be remembered?
3. Sense of vision: what kind of life do I want to live? A great leader needs to have a clear vision of where is he or she going.
4. Sense of responsibility: a leader does not react, but he does respond. Nothing is improvised, everything is planned. There is a clear intention behind every action.
5. Sense of conscience: learn to know ourselves, to realize if we are being totally honest. What should we learn? What should we change? What values do we want to apply in our lives? What are we going to do to become better people and better leaders?
Mourey says that these five senses define the inner compass of leaders. That inner compass is a very big deal: we are immersed in a complex world filled with different kinds of crises: moral crises, values crises, family crises, and business crises. In problematic contexts, it is very difficult to see what is just ahead of us. A great leader must have a very clear inner compass to see where she is going and what’s the path she has to follow to succeed.
According to Mourey, organizations have the same five senses leaders have. And to know who could be the best leader for a company, both parts have to have those five senses aligned. The inner compass of the leader has to be aligned with the inner compass of the company.
That is why the main quality of an outstanding leader is commitment. Commitment to the business’ goals, to create a better future for the company, to follow a successful path for both parts. To really work as a team with the venture, the leader must be really committed to it. And that is only possible if his or her objectives are the same as the company’s.
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