Leadership is a discipline whose exercise deliberately produces influence in a particular group in order to attain desired objectives. History is a witness to the task of great leaders, both for the benefit and for the corruption and destruction of society. Figures like those of Adolf Hitler, Alexander the Great and Abraham Lincoln, have left traces in the history of the humanity. Although it is not the purpose of this paper to write about them, it is opportune to point out that the leader has a special influence within a group. The changes that take place in the leading groups affect society as a whole.
Some main features of the leaders are:
Leadership begins when a vision arises. When a group is under the direction of a person who does not have vision, confusion and disorder will result. This principle is the key to understanding leadership. Without a strategic vision, an individual cannot become a leader; it will only be an imitation. The leader is par excellence that actor capable of synthesizing a vision of certain future state of affairs or dream to which it seems desirable to aspire.
A vision is a clear picture of what the leader expects to do or become his group. When working with a vision, you see your results in advance. However, a vision will never become reality unless a program of goals is prepared, adjustable according to the changes that take place, the fulfilment of which leads to the realization of vision, a relatively long image of existence in time.
The love of the activity
Harold Geneen, in his book entitled Managing, establishes an important distinction between a leader and a commander. The leader guides his people; the commander tells him what to do: “I want this to be done by that date and if you do not, then the heads will roll.” The commander rules by fear, the leader do it out of love. This attribute makes the true leader differ from the one who has the power in his hands. Too often we confuse leadership with popularity, with power, with theatricality, or with the wisdom of long-range plans.”
On this trait, Ted Engstrom, points out in his book The Fine Art of Friendship, some aspects that, although sometimes mentioned as independent, in another way of seeing belong to the expression of this feature. The author recommends:
- Make friendships in which nothing is asked for in return.
- Make a conscious effort that feeds genuine interest in others.
- Devote time to the attention and understanding of others.
- Learn to listen.
- Treat other people as equals.
- Encourage others, not just criticize them.
- Emphasize the strengths and virtues people find in others, not just their weaknesses.
Courage and courage
Being brave means being able to take a position, being able to take risks. The brave leader faces different situations; he does not avoid confrontations because he has confidence in his capabilities and possibilities. Sometimes doing the right thing for an organization has a high price for it.
The great capacity of communication
A leader is a communicator par excellence. He must transmit the vision to his followers and encourage them to overcome the difficulties that arise. For this reason, you must master the techniques of verbal and written communication; As well as using varied forms of expression.The ability to communicate effectively through word and deed is undoubtedly one of the most valuable features of a leader. Communication is the means used to unite and direct the group.
Communication takes place when the recipient understands the meaning of the message he has received. The existence of multiple impediments to effective communication makes it an art and a science at the same time.
The ability to identify opportunities and overcome the fear of mistakes
Great opportunities disguise themselves shrewdly under the guise of insurmountable problems. Knowledge of this principle allows leaders to identify great opportunities for masked action after obstacles that, at first glance, seem insurmountable. This requires a discipline that helps to recognize them.On the other hand, it is possible to learn from mistakes in order to obtain the expected benefits. Nobody is perfect, but it is necessary that the leader has a very special character so as not to despair; this will help you deal with clumsiness productively and eliminate the fear of making mistakes.
The leader in the field of information
When a new organizational paradigm emerges in which the institution sustains its operations in an open teleinformatic network, and moved to the old closed traditional scheme, the professional of the information has to rise to take the place of the leader like manager of the information. In this process, the traits mentioned above become part of the pyramid of information specialist training. This is the way to occupy the space that really corresponds to it and becomes the protagonist of the changes that occur in the processes of information management, as a consequence of the establishment of a new organizational and technological paradigm.There are three indispensable attributes of the leaders in the information sector in this new context. An information manager should:
- Generate alliances from organizational political projects.
- Manage the articulations of the new information management circuits.
- To form new leaders in this field.
These actions allow the leader in information management to be inserted in the context of political and organizational life, making it a viable factor for substantial changes. For this, it will also require both a perception of the internal activity of the organization and a determined attitude in the direction of organizational processes.In order to generate alliances and conquer the world of information, the leader not only has to treasure the knowledge set of his activity, but also a series of elements of a general nature that enable him to become a true manager of information.