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Leaders have to be warm and kind
2010-06-19: I haven't managed to summon up the pocket money to buy this research paper but here's the abstract:
"Leadership research has been characterized by narrowly focused studies with little integration of findings from the different approaches. This article summarizes a study that attempts to embrace a broader view by examining the relationship between leader traits and leadership behavior to determine leadership effectiveness across different situations. A key take-away from this analysis is that in order to be effective a leader must be warm, outgoing, kind, and trustworthy."
See, the thing that stuck me about that is I don't think of myself as a 'natural' leader, but I do think of myself as warm, outgoing, kind, and trustworthy. OK, maybe not so outgoing as I might be.
Then reading an article in the paper today about Angela Merkel's struggles to keep her coalition government alive, compared with what seem to be excellent leadership from Cameron and Clegg in setting an environment for a government out of difficult circumstances which their parties, to some surprise, appear to have signed up to.
Finally, there was @Schofe's tweet after the Capello interview straight after the England v Algeria match yesterday. He basically said "there it is, there's the problem. Capello, speaking in a foreign tongue, is confused and unsure what to do". Capello almost said as much .. "I don't know".
All of that gels to say .. leadership is surely much more than being warm, outgoing, kind and trustworthy. Isn't it about setting a believable vision and motivating people towards achieving it together? Isn't that what Cameron and Clegg have managed, and what Merkel and Capello haven't?
I guess I'm just going to have to read the research paper.

By John Allsopp
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