Informative Summary by Smendiola

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									                                          Informative Summary

Goffee, R. & Jones, G. (2000, September/October). Why should anyone be led by you? Harvard Business

        Review, 78 (5), 62-70.

        All leaders need vision and energy, but to be inspirational, leaders need four other qualities as

well: selectively showing weaknesses, relying on intuition, managing with tough empathy, and revealing

differences. The report is aimed to help executives and business leaders understand the necessary

qualities one needs to become a great inspirational leader.

        Robert Goffee and Gareth Jones for the past 10 years have asked the question to many

executives, “Why would anyone want to be led by you?” Their research into leadership has been

ongoing for the last 25 years. In the last year alone there were more than 2,000 books written on

leadership, but they found that inspirational leaders share the following four qualities.

        First, executives who show some of their own weaknesses establish trust between co-workers,

which creates a work-friendly atmosphere. Leaders who appear to be flawless are sometimes difficult to

approach. When leaders show weaknesses, they seem more genuine and real to their followers. As

these weaknesses are shown, harmony and unity is built between the executive and the follower.

However, exposing these weaknesses must be done carefully. A leader never wants to show a weakness

that could be detrimental to their profession. Leaders need to show competency in their profession

while also showing simple flaws.

        Secondly, inspirational leaders are a good situation sensor which means that they can easily

know what is going on in different circumstances without having to ask. They have an instinct that

allows them to sense their surroundings and understand feelings that aren’t always vocally expressed.
Ray van Schaik, the chairman of Heineken in the early 1990's, is a good example of someone who has

very refined sensors. Van Schaik, unlike other executives, could read Heineken even though they

weren't always in direct contact. He developed the ability to know what Heineken wanted before being

told. Sensing is a great quality to have; nevertheless, it can create problems. Sometimes when leaders

sense something, it could interfere with the truth. Sometimes it is necessary to understand the situation

completely before jumping to conclusions.

        Third, inspirational leaders practice tough empathy. Tough empathy means fulfilling peoples

needs, and not always giving them what they desire. Many times mangers are told to be soft on the

criticism given to employees, but tough empathy involves being direct. Often it is necessary to be tough

on employees. That toughness shows them that you care about their work. It balances respect for the

individual, and helps them accomplish their assignments. An organization like the Marine Corps, are

unique in they way they show tough empathy. A recruit is always pushed to the limits with a “grow or

go” motto. However, if the business is going through difficulties, leaders need to be careful about how

they show tough empathy. In those times, leaders need to be willing to step back, and look at the

situation from a different perspective. This can be difficult, but when a leader develops this quality it

helps show their followers their true selves. It shows them that you genuinely care about their work,

and that you want them to succeed.

        The final quality a leader must have is the willingness to be different. Using differences is the

most important quality of the four mentioned. Showing some kind of difference helps people remember

whom you are. It differentiates the executive from everyone else, and their employees follow them. It

serves to help keep a distance from those you work with. Leaders realize that followers will push

themselves if they are a little detached. They use separateness to motivate and inspire others. However,

some leaders lose contact with their followers by over differentiating themselves. Leaders need to be
separated, but they can't lose contact.

        In order for these four qualities to work, they must become part of the leader’s personality. It

can be difficult to implement them because it isn’t always natural. One important thing to remember is

that there is no single right way to become a great leader; however, learning these four qualities is a

necessary first step. Once you begin to understand these qualities, you can start implementing them in

your life in your own personal way. An important recommendation is that you must always be yourself.

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