Moderate, affable and inclusive: if we were to describe the character of the contemporary leader we would define him this way, in the balance between indulgence and enthusiasm.
Yet, according to the latest research on leadership, the condescending personality would seem to clash with the position of Top Manager: being too affable, in short, could be a double-edged sword, capable of stand between a good professional and his takeover.
The reasons? Let’s discover them together.
Condescending and cordial: synonyms of little pulse?
According to research conducted by Truity Psychometrics – a Californian company specializing in personality analysis – leaders are divided into two macro-categories: there are “rationals”, who approach office life with a logical mind and analytical vision, and the “emotional” ones, who project the warm friendly and family dynamics onto the workgroup, putting in place understanding and listening.
Well, according to Truity’s investigations, “emotional” leaders are pleasant and appreciated by the team, but rarely rewarded by the top management because they are not always used to provide objective feedback, especially if severe, and too focused on others to shine.
On the contrary, “rational” leaders, little projected towards the needs of the team, keep the focus on themselves and enhance their work, activating a real personal promotional campaign.
But be careful: because a too rough leader risks creating a climate of fear around him and scorching earth. In times of need, the leader who sowed the frost could find himself alone, at the head of a group that does not recognize him and is not motivated.
What is the winning balance, then?
Kindness and authority: the right mix to grow
Rational or emotional? Loved or hated?
According to Art Markman, professor of psychology and marketing at the University of Texas, the focus must be shifted from the sentimental level to the level of trust: it doesn’t matter to be appreciated or hated, what matters is to be respected and followed. After all, holding a managerial position means taking the place of the company and promoting the business objectives, leading the team along with even complex tasks and projects. Faced with a credible leader who covers the identity of the Company, therefore, the resources will tend to obey and put into practice the indications received, working with commitment and dedication. All interesting indicators for the company that must choose the professionals to be awarded and to be elected as Top Manager.
The best personality to instill confidence? According to experts, the one that has a dominant and authoritative base, and that is capable of opening up – sometimes – to flashes of empathy and cordiality.’
This leader is appreciated by his employees – and rewarded in the growth path – not because he creates a sociable atmosphere in the office, made of jokes and lightness, but because he knows how to manage resources in a fair, meritocratic and attentive way. This category of manager knows how to listen, knows how to communicate objectively, stimulates trust and credibility and generates a strong sense of cohesion: the team feels part of a project and perceives an active and present guide, aimed at a collective mission.
Honesty, transparency and corporate vision: here are the 3 skills a good leader should have to overcome the pitfall of other people’s judgment – will I be loved or hated by my team? am i popular enough? – and play the assigned role in the best possible way. The target? Lead the team, of course, but also stand out from the top.
Authoritative and effective, with hints of friendliness: this pragmatic leader deserves the title of Top Manager.