The Slovenia Times

I love people.



Today, I constanly meet new people and hear a lot of fascinating personal stories. To me, people are like stunning mosaics of memories, experience, hope and desires for the future. I absolutely love discovering people. And every single time I meet a person, they teach me something new, something dazzling. But that's just my story.

In the business world, what still shocks me is that from time to time I meet leaders who do not have any interest in people. The only thing that drives them is power, money, status, ego. And sadly, many of them succeed while climbing the corporate and political ladders, without the basic ingredient of leadership - genuine care for people.

There is a lot of debate about what leadership really means; whether it is energy, charisma, drive, cutting-edge performance, empowering others... The list could go on and on. Nobody is perfect. We know that great leaders are a combination of innate qualities and potential which has sparked and successfully developed. Numerous leadership workshops, training, coaching and other personal development inventions can drill a person to become a highly efficient and organised manager, jaw-dropping speaker, politically-savvy corporate citizen, emotionally intelligent motivator, etc. But if people don't give you the thrills, then don't even try to be a leader. Either you genuinely care for people or you don't.

I truly wonder why ego, distance and zero empathy are still seen as a value in the business world. As Jim Collins put it in one of the most famous management books Good to Great, "one of the most damaging trends in recent history is the tendency to select dazzling, celebrity leaders". There is plenty of research proving that the best leaders possess outstanding people skills, but also compelling personal humility and strong professional will. They are fanatically driven to produce sustained results, take full responsibility and do what it takes to make the people and company great. Top leaders know how to channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building something greater than themselves. It is not that they have no ego or self-interest. Indeed, they are incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the greater good, not themselves.

So leadership is all about loving and growing people, the organisation and the society to the next level. In other words, "if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." (John Quincy Adams)

• Collins, J. (2001). Good to Great. Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others don't. London, Random House Ltd.


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