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Leading is Serving with Love

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Leading is Serving with Love

“In leadership, spirituality and passion are the elements differentiators that allow us to return to the essence of personal relationships between human beings, which are affections.”
Jim Collins

Leadership is a skill that is applied, consciously or unconsciously, in every human group, since whenever two or more people meet it is exercised by one or the other. For this reason, the ability to lead has been, is and will continue to be the object of study of administrative and social sciences, with the purpose of knowing whether a leader is born or made and what characteristics he or she must have to effectively exercise this aptitude.

In 1989, when I served as Coordinator of the Microenterprise Program at FUNDICAR (Foundation for the Industrial, Commercial and Craft Development of La Guajira), I began to look for management tools to improve my professional performance, which allowed me to discover the importance of leadership and, Fortunately, I learned about the global leadership training organization Junior Chamber International (JCI). Actively participating in seminars, workshops and doing extensive reading on the subject allowed me, in parallel with the practical leadership gymnasium experienced in the Junior Chamber, to understand that the essence of leadership is to serve with love.

My humanistic disposition to lead was influenced by participation in a Philosophy Study Circle made up of teachers and students from the University of La Guajira between the years 1985-1987; learned by the situational leadership method shared by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson in the book The minute executive: New management techniques, known in the early 1990s; and later (in 1994) strengthened with the thought of Stephen R. Covey with his book The 7 habits of highly effective people and later with his book Principle-Centered Leadership.

In the 90s, he shared, in the seminars he developed as a facilitator, the following definition of leadership: It is the effect of enthusiastic and voluntary following that we achieve from those who follow us towards a common purpose. Later, with the book The paradoxby Hunter James C., I understood that leading consists, paradoxically, of serving others, because a good leader is attentive to the members of his team to attend to their legitimate needs, help them fulfill their aspirations and make the most of their abilities. .

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Without a doubt, leadership is an art that is perfected with practice. And from my experience, beyond the various readings and videos to learn about this skill, I found in my managerial exercise the best training, even putting to the test the lessons of the five parables of leadership which were disclosed by Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, who deal with the qualities that define true leaders. Today Ronald Baasch Barberis shares with us in the article Level 5.1 Leadership: A Greater Challenge (Navy Magazine No. 958, 2017, pp. 35-37) regarding the study carried out by Jim Collins in 2005, in which he concludes five levels of leadership and only attributes to those who have reached level 5, the capabilities to transform a good to excellent organization.

Let’s quickly see this evolution of leadership proposed by Jim Collins, since “The coexistence of different personalities generates forms of leadership that vary significantly and that are inexorably related to those special traits of our personal qualities..” Based on that reality and the classification, this author framed the leaders into five categories, which he briefly shared:

Level 1: Highly capable individual. Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits.
Level 2: Team collaborator. Contributes to the achievement of group objectives, works effectively with others in a group environment.
Level 3: Competent executive. Organizes people and resources for the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives.
Level 4: Effective leader. Catalyze commitment with a clear and compelling vision; and its vigorous application encourages the group to achieve high standards of performance.Level 5: LEVEL 5 Executive. Develop lasting greatness through a paradoxical combination of humility and steely determination.

The idea of ​​Level 5 leadership is to turn work from good to great, and to prevent it from going from great to irrelevant. That is why the basis of this leadership is humility, professional will, ego control and a deep ambition to achieve team achievements. And the great challenge with 5.1 leadership is that the leader with his spirituality, from understanding what the purpose and meaning of life is, can imprint passion or everything he does with the intention of achieving positive transformations.

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The country and the world are going through great turbulence that demands authentic leaders in all social environments: organizational (business, public administration or non-governmental entities), political, community and family, then, as Robín Sharma points out in his book leader without positionYou don’t need to have a position to be a leader.”, which according to Sharma can be achieved with Innovation, Mastery, Authenticity, Great Value and Ethics.

In the book The Paradox, Hunter James defines leadership as “The art of influencing people to work enthusiastically to achieve goals for the common good.” The key words in this definition are: Art and influence. The first reaffirms that the leader is made, not born, since an art is simply a learned or acquired skill, which is perfected with practice.

And the second word (influence) is what turns leadership into an art, and moves us to ask ourselves: How will we develop that influence on others? How will we get their ideas, their commitment, their excellence, which are, To define them, voluntary gifts? Hunter explains that there are two options: Power and Authority. The first, understood as the ability to force or coerce someone, so that he, even if he prefers not to do so, does the will of the leader due to his position or his strength; while the second involves the art of getting people to voluntarily do what the leader wants due to his influence.

In my writing The importance of acquiring power I reject external power to lead and, on the contrary, do it with authority, starting from developing internal power, since it has to do with who we are as a person, with our character and with the influence that we have been forging over people. .

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Leadership always leads to significant results for a human group, which is why the leader must share the objective with his team and define the tasks as concrete results; and during the process, praise progress or make reprimands with affection, specifying failures in the procedure, with the purpose of maintaining commitment and passion. To lead is to serve with love. In that way? I explain.

In my book Wake Up That Something, I explain, by quoting a writing by Ramón David González Rangel in the newspaper Achievers No. 50 what “An attitude of service is recognizing in each human being a valuable person, from whom one can learn and with whom one can collaborate. It is developing empathy with other people, no matter how humble they may be. That is, showing interest in what happens to the other person. It is the ability to understand why another person feels this or that way. It means including in our lives the habit of first trying to understand the other person before being understood. When you develop an attitude of service to others, you carry out the following process: you exchange service for power. You deliver service and people give you power back! Power that manifests itself in a clear influence over said people, that makes you become a leader, that they want to be with you, that they consult you; you become important to them and acquire a magnetic personality, an attractive personality to other people.

And I end with the I Letter to the Corinthians, 13, 4-7: “Love is patient, it is affable, it is not boastful or conceited, it is not rude, it does not seek its own, it does not keep accounts of evil, it does not rejoice in injustice but in the truth, it suffers everything, it endures everything. love never fails.” Consequently, by serving with love we manage to lead with the greatest passion from spirituality, a 5.1 leadership that will allow us to contribute to the construction of a better world.

By: Carlos Rafael Melo Freyle

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