What makes a good leader? Is it contingent upon self-awareness, emotional intelligence, or psychological aspects? According to many researchers and analysts these three are key qualities a good leader possesses. They enable a leader to direct, delegate, and accomplish strategic goals and objectives. The deciding factor lies in the outcome of these attributes and the benefits and results they contribute.Manfred F.R.
Kets de Vries, a psychology and psychoanalyst researcher of France undoubtedly agrees with these concepts. Furthermore, he supports the idea that being in tune to ones inner goals, having the ability to support and inspire others and the psychological woes of childhood help shape and make a good leader. Understanding one’s desires and goals in life is an optimal advantage to a great leader. The individual has a solid hold on plans and knows what direction to take to accomplish future goals.
Such attributes give the leader a sense of self-assurance and instills confidence in current and potential followers. It also strengthens ones credibility with others. “The most effective leaders are able to both act and reflect which prepares them to manage for the long term.” (Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 1) In addition, self-reflection is a good way to examine what is important and of interest to a leader.
A leader must have insight to determine what key qualities an individual possesses. Emotional intelligence plays a very important role in exemplifying these characteristics. It also enables the leader to relate and identify shared competencies in others.
“An emotional intelligent leader also knows how to single people out and say, “Hey, Deborah, you’re special. I’ve looked a long time for you, and I really want you to be apart of my team.” (Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 1) As a result, a leader can build a dynamic team of effective and supportive followers.The traumatic experience that stems from childhood and transitions into adulthood ironically becomes a tool that motivates most great leaders to accomplish many awesome business deals in their career. Consequently, even if the motivation was a negative experience, it generally aids in developing the character of the individual.
For example, in the case discussion analysis with psychoanalysis Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries, his comments on the relational comparison of the father and mother’s influence on leadership practices and styles of most CEO’s And Senior Executive during their latter days in top positions.Sometimes when a parent totally disregards a dream or goal of a child, this inspires them to effortlessly strive to succeed. “In organizations, we often find strong links between the personality of the leader, his leadership style, and the general culture-especially in companies where power is centralized.” (Kets de Vries, 2004, para.
5) Leadership styles and practices can very from one culture to the next. In many discussions, a leader may be defined as a rational individual, one that has a great deal of confidence and is a visionary. Does this indicate that they are all rational? Perhaps in some situations a leader will make a rational decision or act logical. Respectfully, this does not prove or determine all leaders are rational in business.
It could depend upon the individuals’ ethical beliefs and his background influences. Many times a person’s background, family influences, and childhood experiences strongly affect the rationale of many decisions. (Kets de Vries, 2004, para.
6)Kets de Vries implies that rationality is not an interval part of all leaders. In fact, he determines that it is missing from some great leaders. He gives an excellent example of one of his current cases, which involve an entrepreneur with trust issues.
When the company initially started, it had fewer employees and the leader demanded he examine all communication material received or processed. Obviously, as the company grew, it became extremely difficult to manage. The turnover in this company was high and the leader became desperate to find and keep good employees.
The entrepreneur was said to have had relationship problems with his father and a mother that had control issues. (Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 6)Is it logical to idealize or admire a leader to the point where honest feedback is impossible to convey? Most employees are too afraid to inform their supervisor on how he or she performs as a leader.
Then why do employees constantly fall into the trap of idealizing their leader? Kets de Vries implies the transference theory of Sigmund Freud describes elements of idealization. In Freud’s interaction with his patients, he realized “patients were interacting with powerful figures from their own internal theaters, usually important childhood figures like parents, teachers, and siblings.” Respectfully, “transference is the term for this continuity between early childhood and adult behavior.” (Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 8)Idealizing a leader can be a detriment to all parties involved as well as to the leader. Most employees are vulnerable when it comes to their supervisor’s styles and practices. Unfortunately, when the working environment becomes conformed and there’s no room to express disagreement, many employees feel threaten and began to seek employment elsewhere. As a result, turnover increases, company loses money from employees quitting and poor leadership is left to further damage the working environment.
(Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 8)Kets de Vries implies that a good leader should have a healthy dose of narcissism. This is to say a balanced amount of self-confidence and competence. Nevertheless, too much of this personal characteristic could lead to many stressful situations and problems. In comparison with idealizing a leader, a narcissistic individual can be extremely hazardous to an organization. For example, a narcissistic person’s ideas are dominant and can stifle all creativity.
Furthermore, an overly narcissistic leader creates an idealistic environment were freedom of expression and ideas are totally rejected. (Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 7)An organizational fool is a person that brings reality to important decisions and situations in an organization. They play an important role by making sure the leader see things in true form. Every leader should have one to maintain control over employee idealization, conformity, and narcissistic behavior. An organizational fool symbolizes a double mirror that shows the leader’s vague perceptions in one mirror and rational truths in the other. Needless to say, without a reality intervention, most leaders will make decisions only based upon their own point of view.
(Kets de Vries, 2004, para. 11)With desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. Good leaders develop through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. Leaders are not people with brillant talent; they are people who have learned from their mistakes and get up and try again. A good leader works hard and they love what they do. Leaders do not grow in a comfort zone.
They acknowledge their depression and work it through.References ListKets de Vries, M. (2004). Putting Leaders on the Couch. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved December 21, 2006, from www.hbr.org