“Leadership competence. What exactly is that?” asked the board member of a film manufacturer at one of Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel’s lectures. He continued “Or, what, in your opinion, makes a manager successful?”
Managers must be one thing above all – authentic. Although we talk about innate authority, it does not mean that only a few individuals are blessed with the natural talent to lead others. What it actually means is that the best leaders are those who do not try to mask their real personalities or to fake authority. “Managers must live their leadership positions. To present themselves as authentic personalities, they must know and accept their true, inner selves with all their human weaknesses,” answered the CEO of Global DiVision.
Key to this is the balancing of opposites – the right mix of:
Respect and Trust
Respect is often confused with hierarchical deference. Where the superior is simply the stronger individual, the relationship will lack honesty and openness. Bosses must also work to gain respect and admiration – having that sign on their office door is not enough.
On the other hand, placing trust in employees enables them to deliver performance that they would be unlikely to achieve within a purely chain of command-based system. Be honest, respectful, and authentic and you will get the very best out of your employees. Your claim to leadership must be based on trust, not force.
The Ability to Assert Yourself and Sensitivity
It goes without saying that bosses sometimes have to lay down the law and call the shots. This should, however, be more the exception than the rule. A well-managed group knows what its tasks and boundaries are; is aware of its goal; and what mistakes it must avoid. Managers who continuously have to re-focus their staff; correct erroneous behavior; and keep checking on performance do not have their troops correctly positioned! Clearly defined rights and obligations help everyone concerned to act in a manner that is appropriate for their position.