Recently a company I know has chosen as a new leader of one of his most important project a very arrogant person.
I had the opportunity to work with him some times ago, and all the people that met him agree with me about his arrogance.
This man has indubitably a great know-how, he’s brilliant and talented for his work (but maybe less than others) but he is very able to increase his self-branding.
He built in times an image of solid professional, built not on his 20 years experience but on his bad temperament, on his arrogance, his language often remarkable when not openly rude.
The question is: he’s been chosen because or despite his bad temperament?
Some times ago I read an interesting story: a leader of a great company asked to a marketing guru if the fact his company wasn’t as big as Apple depended on he was an humble leader.
The answer was that Apple was a big company in spite of Jobs’ bad temperament.
In the highly controversial Good to Great book, the author, James C. Collins examines the performance over 40 years of 11 companies that became great.
The first of seven characteristics of companies that went “from good to great” is to have an inspired but humble leader.
Although many companies and many project have a strong leader, in my mind the my way or the highway approach is located just a step away from Godfather’s style.
I believe that a leader ought to be flexible, to be a good listener and not only a screaming monkey, he should be ready to learn from his mistakes, he should be aware to be not perfect, but perfectible.
In a nutshell, a good leader is charismatic and inspiring but refuses to be bossy.
A good example of charismatic humble leader is without doubt Mr. Barack Obama, a bossy leader is – unfortunately – Mr Silvio Berlusconi.
To be driven to do what’s best for the company, to be enthusiastic and crowd enchanter is quite different from state own authority with arrogance: in my humble opinion, a bad temperament often could hide skills and talents or – worse – cover a lack of them.
In reverse, an overweening attitude, very often shows an inner weakness and a intimate need to be reassured that immediately ceases when that leader lost his/her power.
That said, if mostly researches demonstrate that good-to-great leaders, it turns out, are humble, why so many bully leader there around?
Be inspiring. Don’t be overwhelming. Be a leader.