The leadership theory, as the subject of studying an effective manager of an enterprise, gives us the opportunity to look at him as a personality, formed under the influence of a certain set of situations and life circumstances, both those that depend solely on his choice, and those that occur without his participation. However it might be, today I’ll talk about who such a leader is and how the psychology of leadership affects the formation of his personality.
The topic of leadership in itself pushes us primarily to where human relationships begin. Have you ever wondered – what’s needed to ensure that these relations develop successfully, both in the family and in friendship, including at work? Maybe for this you need to be more open or responsive? Or maybe you need to be demanding and tough? Or maybe you think that people should perceive you as you are? Can you, when evaluating your relationships with people, call yourself a leader?
In fact, many of us, if not all, are able to literally determine immediately what kind of person they are dealing with and how well he can get along and work with people. People of this type easily make new acquaintances, quickly make contact, are able to motivate others and infect them with their positivity, which often allows them to gather an army of loyal fans around them. Working with such people brings positive emotions, useful experience, and most importantly, causes a desire to continue to communicate with them. Such a person can be safely called a leader, and our task is to understand how the process of formation of his personality takes place.
If you ask any head of an enterprise, including, for example, the director of the fitness club, what qualities or skills you need to have in order to become a leader in a team, in most cases, if not in all, they will say that these are communication skills. And the logic here is pretty simple. Knowing the psychology of customer behavior is much more important than thoroughly knowing your product or service that you are selling. Any experienced administrator or manager of the fitness club who works with clients will confirm this. The ability to get along and find a common language with people distinguishes those who can become a leader and in the future will occupy a leading position from ordinary employees who may never rise above their current position.
A lot of people take communication and interaction skills between people for granted. Well, this is pretty silly approach that alienates them from the truth. In fact, the ability to build and maintain good relationships is perhaps the most important skill that affects literally all areas of life. The skills of working with people measure the potential of your success. From here, one can make the following logical conclusion that success or failure, for example, in building a career, lays precisely in the field of human relationships, that is, your relationship with colleagues, clients and management.
Simply put, your success or failure depends on how your colleagues, clients, and supervisors respond to your words or actions. If their reaction is positive, you will have the right to count on success, otherwise your chances will be incredibly small. Thus, if you strive for successful leadership in working with colleagues, partners, clients or supervisors, the biggest omission for you will be to let your relationship go by its own. You must work on yourself, monitor the speech, choose words, control actions, and also motivate people, support them and help them achieve their goals.
Now let’s talk about how the personality of a leader is formed. Any final result is always the sum of small achievements or intermediate steps. A leader as a psychologically formed and morally stable person is formed on the basis of many life situations and circumstances, each of which affects his character, behavior and perception of the world around him. There are a lot of such factors of influence, but the following five are the main ones: heredity, self-identification, experience, principles and habitat.
- Heredity. In the process of cultivating a future leader, it plays a significant role. The assumption is false that only upbringing, education and the habitat affect the formation or degradation of leadership qualities, since it must be understood that every person already has a foundation for this from birth. This foundation is a basic set of abilities and qualities that remain with each of us throughout life. Any heredity bears in itself both positive and negative traits. Some positive qualities will help you break through your failures throughout your life, but some negative ones will, on the contrary, hinder you on the path to success. It’s important to understand that in the process of choosing positive and negative qualities you don’t participate in any way. You simply inherit a certain basic set from your parents. And if you aren’t able to affect the parameters of heredity, then you can surely change the following four parameters.
- Self-identification. As you know, a person is most comfortable being surrounded by those people whose self-esteem level is as close to his own as possible. Yes, of course, it also happens that opposites attract, but in this case it’s more an exception than a rule. Most often and almost everywhere, people are looking for a place in a company, in a pair or in a circle of friends of their own mindset. Of those who correspond to their level of wealth, intellectual development or position in society. A person with a negative life position expects that he will be deceived everywhere, that everything around is bad and reaches out to people with the same views as his. In turn, a person with a positive life position hopes for the best, makes efforts to improve his position and is looking for like-minded people. The secret of leader’s self-identification is that he knows how to abstract from external circumstances and internal convictions so that, regardless of the current situation, he always remains positive and even infects other people with this positivity.
- Experience. We are all inclined to draw conclusions based on previous experience. Remember your childhood. If you have achieved some success in sports, you probably continued your career in it. If you have loved computers since childhood, you must have tried to turn this hobby into a profession. If your parents encouraged you for good marks at school, you learned the lesson that any work should be paid. And if you were attacked and harassed by classmates, it also contributed to the formation of your personality and you realized that you need to be careful with people. Most of what happened to you in the early years didn’t depend on you, but as you grow older and as your character develops, conclusions made on the basis of what happened made it possible to avoid mistakes in the future or, moreover, to predict them in advance. In leadership theory, the rejection of negative circumstances and the ability to learn from them, encourage a person to take the initiative and responsibility, and not to blame others or take mistakes for granted.
- Principles. As a consequence of the previous paragraph, experience is the basis for the development of life principles. Of course, we are far from always able to influence what is happening to us, but one way or another, how we react to it depends on us. This also includes what we consider correct or inadmissible. It’s no secret that a person without principles is able to cheat or betray to achieve own goals. He’s capable of deceit, scam, theft and not only. But precisely because of these negative actions, such a person never becomes a leader. From the point of view of the psychology of leadership, it’s the presence or absence of rigid principles that makes you either a whole person or characterless. A person who has reached the post of director, through deception and fraud, will not be able to become a leader for the team, because the leader isn’t just a position, in this case, it’s a metaphysical perception of the leader by his team. Your life principles are determined not by connections and acquaintances, not by the size of your wallet and not by external circumstances. Your principles are first of all your choice of what you should do and what you shouldn’t.
- Habitat. Another incredibly important factor in the process of personality formation is the environment, and it plays a role not only in childhood or adolescence, but actually throughout life. Your worldview is largely formed on the basis of who’s included in your circle of friends and relatives. People with whom you are in constant contact to a greater or lesser extent affect who you become in the future and you don’t need to go far for examples. All of us, sooner or later, on our own or on someone else’s example, were faced with the fact that a good person who had contact with a bad company immediately had problems. In the same way, you could observe the situation when a person starting to communicate with positive, educated and polite people, changed his lifestyle, quit bad habits, began to play sports and grow up the career ladder. An advanced leader is not only the one who chooses his own environment and forms it from successful and advanced people, but also one who’s able to pull others along and help them also become successful and advanced.
Any of your success or failure lies precisely in the field of interpersonal interaction. Both at home and at work, you have to deal with people, which means whether you want it or not, any of your successes or failures will depend on how you build relationships with people around you and how they respond to your words and actions. If you want to become an effective leader in any area of life, you first need to learn how to work with people. So listen to them, consider their point of view, compromise, help, support, motivate them and you will certainly become a leader for them.
Author – Felix Palmer