In Peru, we have fought to achieve full democratic liberties and free ourselves from authoritarian governments. We need leadership, legal knowledge and a great deal of courage to eradicate political systems that have restricted the population’s participation in decision making processes. Many Peruvians died and suffered persecution during numerous decades to achieve the freedom that we currently enjoy. Today, we need the same courage and commitment to do something much less complex: use this liberty that cost us so much to achieve to free ourselves from fears of investing and thinking big. I believe that we need more business energy and courage to create more companies, generate more wealth and aggressively modernize our society, enriching and globalizing our Peruvian identity. To accomplish this, we need leaders that set ambitious goals for our companies and Peru. This has been the case of Alberto Benavides and many other Peruvian businessmen that have had and still have the courage to believe and invest in the country. Today more than never we need leaders with energy, commitment and strategic ambitions that will allow us to develop a dynamic and vigorous business class that can help eradicate poverty in our country. If our leaders establish timid and mediocre goals, we will be a mediocre country. Leadership is the art or process of influencing individuals so that they will voluntarily and enthusiastically strive to achieve a goal. To accomplish this, modern leaders must gain the trust of their followers. People have high expectations of their leaders. Followers demand increasing capacities, integrity and commitment. Leadership consists in a reciprocal relationship between those who decide to lead and those who decide to follow. Any discussion regarding leadership must take this dynamic into account. Strategies, tactics and codes of ethics will be useless if we fail to comprehend the emotional ties that connect leaders to their followers. What is expected of a leader? What is the guiding purpose of a specific leadership effort? We cannot renew our businesses and communities until we have provided a coherent response to each of these questions.
If we have yet to understand the relationship between leaders and followers, we cannot achieve the world class business of our dreams. It is not enough to generate rational adherence to a leader by means of financial stimuli or mechanized behavioral engineering techniques that treat individuals like Pavlov’s dogs. Genuine concern for collaborators cannot be faked. People feel it when we are acting. The true secret to leadership is authenticity; individuals must feel that our actions are guided by a sincere interest in their well being and a sense of transcendence that goes well beyond the economic.
The components of a good leadership are the following:
• Capacity to inspire
• Capacity to create and influence the future
• Capacity to use power with efficacy and in a responsible way
• Capacity to develop an environment that favors communication, innovation and the socio-emotional support for individuals
The challenge of leadership is ensuring that individuals voluntarily take on what they would not normally assume.
Characteristics of leadership:
• Ethics, morals
• Lead through example
• Appreciated only some times
• Always respected
• Accepts responsibility
• Not always entertained
• Not always compensated materially
Formula for leadership:
• Establish goals
• Reach people’s brains and hearts
• Set high standards
• Do not give confusing signals
• Reward success
• Provide opportunities to learn
• Always do the right thing
We must stop feeling and thinking like losers. Let us assume leadership to convert our businesses and country into something big. If we think like leaders, anything is possible.