The skills leaders need

LEADERSHIP IS A quality that is hard to define, but as a Supreme Court justice said of obscenity, you know it when you see it. Everyone can think of inspiring leaders from history but managers who think they can base their style on Nelson Mandela or Elizabeth I are suffering from delusions of grandeur.

The biggest mistake is to equate leadership entirely with charisma. Billy McFarland was just 25 when he set up the Fyre festival which promised attendees a luxury experience on a deserted island in the Bahamas. As shown by the Netflix documentary, “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened”, Mr McFarland was a preternatural salesman. He convinced investors that he was a visionary entrepreneur and persuaded talented young people to work for him.

But he lacked the skills to put his vision into practice. Festival guests arrived to find their food consisted of cheese sandwiches, rather than gourmet cuisine. They were housed not in luxury villas, but in tents left over from a hurricane-relief scheme. The saga ended with Mr McFarland being sentenced to six years in prison.

His example could have been a case study for the book by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic—“Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (and how to fix it)”. As an organisational psychologist, he points out that people tend to assume that confident...

via Business Feeds

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