March 20, 2016

Should leader be risk taker?

We always think that leaders must be risk-takers, embracing changes and dare to challenge the old practices. However, the best leaders in any field tend to be conscientious.They aren't impulsive and are remarkably capable of self-control, even when temptations are high. However, risk-taking and conscientious do not necessarily contradict. Embracing changes doesnt mean to proceed without considering consequences.

But it does implie a mismatch of what people actually value in leaders and what they shouldvalue. The psychologist Tim Judge found out that disagreeable people—those who are more likely to be self-centered and confrontational —have a higher probability of becoming leaders. More agreeable people—who are empathetic, altruistic, and sociable—tend to make better leaders, but are less frequently chosen to lead. This interesting result shows that the qualities of effective leadership are not in line with leaders choicen. Why do we tend to choose the wrong people to lead? The main reason might lead to the rule and criteria of selection and promotion. If we want to choose the real effective leaders, we need to change the rules of the game first.

It reminds of me the previous blog about talkers and listeners. In one of in-module exercise, Paul said each group was identified a strong leader by an independant person but none of us have realized that we had a leader. I kept asking myself how was the leader identified and where the perception came from. By identifying the ones talk the most while others listen? or the ones always try to persuade others with their own ideas? or the ones facilitate the conversation? There might be possibility that leaders do not talk much but are able to make the most sensible decision considering inputs from all the team members. So why and from where he identified the leaders?


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