When it comes to leadership in productive teams, it is important to be consistent and clear when guiding the members of our organization. A leader is a person who influences others towards the goals of the organization, leaving a legacy/footprint along the way. However, on many occasions leading teams can involve a series of “contradictions” or “opposite” capacities, in this article we will expand this point of view.

Be dominant and be flexible

The leader may reach a point of resembling an authority or military, that demands and orders (being able to be considered dominant), but at the same time, he must have the possibility of delegating that authority, relinquishing control and having confidence in his team, managing democratic work teams, in which the authority does not stand out (being able to be considered more flexible), but is a kind of “captain” that takes the organization forward.

Generally, true leaders show “leadership” before authority, it is common for them to influence their team “before” being officially named leaders. So, the key is to have the ability to be influential in the work team, so that the team fulfills the assigned mission, achieving the desired result within the established period.

Humility and firmness

A leader must be “humble” enough to listen to his team in all his proposed approaches, but at the same time, he must be “firm” to know exactly when his opinion must be valid and listened to lead the group forward. It is important to remember that at the end of the entire process, the leader will be solely responsible for the team’s performance, so it is important that they can make the right decisions at the right time.

Be a “micro manager” and then be broad

The leader must have the ability to be a “micro-manager” by engaging in essential details and tasks but must also have the ability to withdraw from that “style” and allow the team to carry out all activities without their participation. A leader usually does not need to be supervised, if he must be constantly supervised then he is not a leader (he would simply be one of the group). Leaders must be allowed to make their own team and only report their team’s activities or results on very special or relevant occasions.

Retain your people and expel a member when necessary

Once a work team is assembled, the leader must have the ability to care for and retain his people, the most important role of an entrepreneur is to know how to select leaders and place them in the right positions, but at the same time, the leader must have the ability to know when to remove certain people who do not have the capabilities or are not aligned with the vision of the organization, that is, the leader must know when to expel a person from the team.

Internal vs. external leaders

Leaders are obtained in two ways: one is through workers from the same company or organization and the other is through external recruitment, many experts agree that a healthy ratio is 80 to 20, this means that the ideal is that 80% of the leaders have been trained within the company or organization, and that 20% are hired from outside.

The risk of external leaders is that they do not have a corporate culture, which can cause problems if there is not a good system of induction and training on organizational culture. Regarding the hiring of personnel, there are two phrases from the business world that are in accordance with this situation: fire quick (hire fast) and hire slow (that is, hire slowly), that is, we must take the time “that is necessary” when trying to hire new staff, and we must act quickly when we see that someone must be “separated” from the organization.

Plan versus improvise

It is important to do long-term planning, spend time preparing a project and determine possible future actions, however, you should also know when it is convenient to make quick movements and improvise “on the fly”. While planning is important, there will be cases where the leader must trust their intuition and take immediate action. Daily planning also plays an important role since a good plan allows the time used in the day to be optimized to the maximum, as we discussed in our previous article Tips for a good daily planning of activities

As we can appreciate all these points are valid (you can be either side), the important thing is that the leader has the two “opposite” abilities and knows when to move from one side to the other, that he has the ability to know how to be at the appropriate time and in the right place (within the same contradiction). A great leader is not of a particular style, is a person with a fairly wide range of performance, and who has the ability to move or “navigate” within a “sea” of contradictions to reach the established goal.

What do you think about this topic? Are there other “opposite” capabilities that you would like to add?

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Image by Dane Deaner via unsplash.com under creative commons license.


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