Qualities of a Leader: Personal Authority and Leadership
Upnify Editorial Team - 30 de junio, 2021
The personal authority of a leader is a result of the values and capabilities that they manifest in their management. It is a quality of theirs that the people in their environment recognize, without being able to grant or deprive them of it.
The values that convey personal authority have been changing throughout the history of mankind. At this time of economic crisis, difficulty, and uncertainty, the ability to steer the ship in the midst of the storm without straying from essential values takes on special value.
7 Keys to Gain Personal Authority
Gaining the respect and recognition of your collaborators is in itself a challenge that many bosses fail to meet. Personal authority is cemented on the basis of:
- Leading by respecting people, without betraying oneself in difficulty, without breaking the team with erratic decisions, without hiding; Setting the standard
- It is essential to maintain a sense of humor in adversity and humility to keep learning.
- Create conditions for collaboration.
- Defend the love for a job well done.
- Make decisions when others should not or are not capable of doing so.
- Be imaginative, keep energy levels high.
- And, in the opinion of the managers themselves, have a high dose of personal consistency.
5 Qualities of the Ideal Leader
The vast majority of managers in any company are both bosses and subordinates. Some indicators that provide us with information about the quality of leadership are constructed by asking managers about the work of their bosses. There are 5 characteristics that can define a hypothetical ideal boss:
- The ability to communicate.
- Providing resources to the team so it can function. It is the figure of the boss as a communicator and great provider, which contributes to the manager's credibility.
- The good leader is fundamentally perceived as someone who clearly shows their guidelines and generates the best working conditions for his team.
- University education.
- It is not as relevant, but it helps, for an ideal manager to be pleasant and to maintain friendly relations with his collaborators.
All managers set management models that they intend to be the guidelines to follow in the company. The most effective leaders are aware of room for improvement and never stop learning throughout their management career.
Authority or persuasion? Maybe a bit of both
Among the qualities of leadership, when managing a team, the question arises as to whether it should be based on authority or on persuasion. Both concepts are important.
In most cases, leadership should be based on persuasion:
Convincing subordinates that it is necessary to act in such a way.
A person performs better when they are convinced of what they are doing.
The person will consider these decisions as their own and will feel more integrated in the organization (they will consider that they are taken into account). The leader must be a true expert in the art of persuasion, they must be a truly convincing person. In persuasion, there is an exchange of ideas: the leader explains (sells) their objectives, tries to convince, but takes into account the opinion of his collaborators.
But, very clearly, on certain occasions the leader must use his authority and do so with determination. For example, if the team rejects the leader's proposal, if it is a problematic group, in the face of a crisis situation, etc.
The leader must impose their authority even if it is unpopular. However, the leader must not abuse the use of their authority. Employees distinguish perfectly well when its use is justified and when it is capricious. In any case, the use of authority must go hand in hand with an extraordinary respect for people.
The leader has the right to make demands, to give orders, etc. What he does not have the right to do, under any circumstances, is to abuse people, to subjugate them, or to humiliate them.
An unjustified use of authority affects very negatively the union between the leader and his employees. No one likes to be constantly bossed around. Employees are of age and generally know how to behave.
Being ordered around is not very motivating. The employee will probably just comply with it and little else (do the minimum necessary to avoid punishment). When the management of a group is based on "command and control" it is illusory to expect the employee to feel motivated, so they will hardly give the best of themselves.
The abusive use of authority ("because I said so") creates an atmosphere of tension that affects the integration of the staff with the company. If the leader abuses their authority, their subordinates will do the same (but multiplied) with the lower levels, generating an atmosphere of tension, sometimes unbearable.
On the other hand, if the leader promotes participative management, this management model will also spread to all levels of the company.
The idea that basing leadership on persuasion rather than authority is a sign of weakness must be rejected.
On the contrary, there is no greater show of authority than to have recourse to it and not to do so, to voluntarily renounce the use of power in favor of persuasion.
The team picks up on this immediately. The work environment improves radically, people feel at ease, they are participative and eager to do things.
It must be made very clear that leading through persuasion does not imply being less demanding. And being demanding is inherent to the role of an effective leader. In today's competitive world, high standards are essential for a company to survive.
However, this high level of demand does not have to be at odds with trying to convince the organization of the appropriateness of the measures adopted, nor with having a cordial relationship with employees based on respect. A high level of demand does not necessarily require acting as a tyrant.
Finally, it should be pointed out that although the aim is to create a pleasant and participative work environment in the organization, avoiding unnecessary tensions, the employee must be very clear that the slightest indiscipline will not be admitted under any circumstances.
The employee must be treated as a responsible person, but must also be required to reciprocate, behaving with maturity.
What actions will you take in your business and in your life, in this sense?
Upnify´s Editorial Team; formed by professionals and experts in Marketing, Sales, Communication, Design and other areas. They share their experience through articles enriching the commercial culture.