If charisma is an innate quality, it is nevertheless essential to know how to use it in a relevant way in order to be a followed leader.
Leadership is built on 3 areas: the individual, the situation and the group considered. Thus, a person exercising his power in a meeting of employees may not have the same capacity to attract a group of managers.
Furthermore, a leader is not necessarily a manager and vice versa, even if leadership and management remain complementary.
What is leadership?
While a manager's power is conferred by his hierarchy through his position in the company, which intrinsically determines his authority over his team, the leader is, above all, recognised by his colleagues as a charismatic leader - almost a 'guru' for some - who is sometimes blindly followed.
The leader shakes up habits, creates and is not afraid to innovate or propose totally disruptive solutions. In addition to his natural charisma, it is essentially in his relations with others that he bases his power of persuasion.
Thus, a certain leadership is essential in times of transformation in the company, for example. Change management will be all the smoother if it is carried out by a leader who is recognised, listened to and followed by all - or almost all.
What is the link between leadership and management?
Leadership is intimately linked to management, but it is not the same as management. While it is essential for a leader to know how to lead and manage his or her troops - even if this is not always the case - a manager is not necessarily a leader.
Indeed, the manager will try to achieve the objectives that have been set for him (or that he himself has defined) by relying on the potential (human, budgetary, etc.) that he has at his disposal.
The leader, on the other hand, will go further by innovating if necessary - sometimes by surprising and confusing at first - but above all by drawing his troops into the movement with obvious and enthusiastic support for the path.
While the manager generally remains realistic, the leader does everything possible to achieve his or her dreams, however incredible they may be.
Moreover, a good leader is not only capable of identifying and bringing out the skills of each individual and of the group, but also of articulating all these skills, transforming them if necessary, and juggling them in order to take the group even further.
Thus, it is essential to have certain qualities and skills if you want to be followed!
How to become a good leader?
Leadership, when it is not "innate", can however be acquired to a certain extent and worked on in order to exploit all its possibilities, remaining in a virtuous circle, of course - some leaders can prove to be toxic as history has shown on many occasions.
The qualities of a successful leader
To ensure a certain charisma that is indisputable in the eyes of others, certain qualities are essential and characterise a good leader. These include, among others :
- Self-confidence: essential to be able to give confidence to others and to transmit one's vision and ideas effectively.
- Vision: far-sighted and 360 degrees in order to bring out the best in each person with a collective objective.
- Open-mindedness: no one holds the truth. Knowing how to question oneself and remain curious about any new opportunity or possibility is essential to achieving a dream. The leader knows that alone he or she cannot do much. There is strength in unity - and therefore in collective intelligence.
- Exemplary leadership: this is a basic principle. To be listened to and followed, you have to set an example and apply what you preach yourself.
coherence with one's values and convictions: a good leader will not be able to convince people if he or she is not deeply in agreement with the project and the ideas he or she is defending.
- Multidisciplinary intelligence: a good leader instinctively senses what his or her colleagues are capable of, but also their personalities and operating methods. Armed with all this, he or she is able to orchestrate his or her world and lead it to the best possible success for each and every one.
- Empathy: an integral part of a particularly developed emotional intelligence that allows the leader to get the best out of each person by allowing them to develop fully.
- Freedom: independence in relation to one's ideas and decisions, closely correlated with self-confidence and a sense of responsibility.
- responsibility: linked to the previous point, the leader, free in his choices, must assume his decisions, risk-taking, etc., always with the aim of doing the best for his troops.
The key skills to be an inspirational leader
In addition to the qualities detailed below, a good leader must be able to :
- Take initiative: this is often what makes a good leader admired and respected, because they are determined, confident and daring.
- Defend and impose their ideas gently and respectfully: what good are good ideas if they cannot present them, explain them - sell them, so to speak - but in a respectful and non-violent manner? Knowing how to convince is thus a major asset.
- Communicating effectively: this is an essential skill for getting your ideas across and, above all, for gaining the support of your troops. Feedback is an important part of this, as it enables the leader to listen to his or her colleagues, hear about new possibilities and/or opportunities, etc.
- Identify and bring out the talents of each person in the group: one of the pillars of leadership which consists of identifying, bringing out and orchestrating individual and collective talents in order to lead everyone to success.
- Shaking up habits for the benefit of everyone and the group as a whole: disruption and innovation are two powerful notions in leadership. They allow you to constantly challenge your ideas, your work and the whole group in order to reach the heights of your dreams.
- Motivating and recognising the work of one's colleagues: a prerequisite for effective and positive management. A good leader must also manage his troops - and play on motivation and meaning at work - in order to maintain his position as a monitored leader.