Lead in turbulent times. The value of experience. Fourth (and last) part – Why is more suitable an experienced leader?

re suitable an experienced leader?is faced with problems that are within the reach of their abilities and knowledge, they do not feel the need to have to resort to his character, their courage, in short, their determination to achieve the achievement of their goals even in not very encouraging circumstances. Courage must make its appearance when knowledge and skill are challenged to the utmost.

There is no leader without character. The intellectual and emotional knowledge, the skills acquired with experience and tenacity, enable the individual, but to be a leader it is not enough; In addition, it takes the courage that ultimately determines the achievement of goals. And when the stage is tough and complicated, when the game is played in important competitions and in difficult moments, it is where the true leader appears.

The leader arises to make uncomfortable decisions and avoid the entertainment and comfort of doing what others want, and instead, stick to what is right to do. The leader, for whatever reasons they have, they never give up when things gets tough.

The leader is the one who, like the kite, flies higher with the wind is against it. The one who, when there is a storm, does not escape from it, but learns to “dance in the rain.” And they achieve that those around them, their organizations, do the same. Some (there are more) more well-known characteristics of the leader are:

  1. Their ability to adapt.

  2. Their continued willingness to learn.

  3. Their open-mindedness.

  4. Their priority of collective objectives over individual ones.

  5. They think differently, “outside the box.” Ability to innovate.

  6. They are not always “best in class” when it comes to performance, but they are the best at taking the business where it thrives.

  7. They are always considered high potentials, because they are always in a position to reach more.

  8. They make the organization work as a whole towards a common goal.

  9. They are resilient, they turn challenges and problems into opportunities and emerge stronger from them.

And above all, it is the one who is in a permanent active attitude towards change, towards the transformation of organizations. The one who understands that what defines the intelligence of organizations is the ability to change.

And for this, in the moments that we are having to live, I vindicate the value of experience. Opposite to what has been a tradition in our country for a long time, where the cost and age of the identity card mattered more than the ability to face the future, and which is now fortunately beginning to change, in this case the experience is a degree.

Youth has qualities that we are not going to discover here. We are facing the best prepared generation in history, and the next generation will be even more so. And so, in its continuous effort and objective to improve, humanity will continue to create new and great professionals, magnificently trained, who will be the new leaders of the future.

But experiencing a crisis like the one we have with a first-time and inexperienced leader right off the bat is, in my opinion, and with the honourable exceptions that all generality entails, a mistake. The first crisis of a leader must be spent in the trench, even in the second row if you will, seeing and learning about how and in what way things are done, and also of course, in what way they should not be done (sometimes as important as the first).

All crises are different, but they have many common points. And having prior experience, a guide, a methodology that makes a roadmap for the leader and his organization drawn up, is an element of incalculable value that not only, but mostly, is achieved with experience, having gone through these situations before, and have come out of them successfully, or at least jauntily.

This gives a security that allows not to doubt when what is involved is certainty, give security to the organization and transmit confidence and calm that always, when there is a storm, then it clears, that there are no permanent economic bonanza situations, but neither there are eternal crises. It comes out, and if they do things well, it comes out stronger and better.

Nobody has magic wands for anything, and less to face a situation like the one we have in front of us. But I insist on what I said before: we have to get it right. And I don’t see any other way to do it with leaders who:

  1. Know what they do. They have a clear roadmap outlined and are following it with determination.

  2. They question permanently status-quo.

  3. They provide solutions.

  4. They unite the organization around them, transmitting calm, security and certainty.

  5. They have courage, that is, they know how to bring out their best characteristics in difficult situations.

That is why I consider necessary to have a previous experience, to have lived similar situations on the front line and to have come out of them successfully. Combined with the characteristics (and others) of which we have spoken in points A to I, this is a very interesting leader proposal.

We all know that we are facing an unprecedented challenge. Covid.19 has transformed it, if not everything, then at least many things. Many procedures, many ways of doing, behaving and thinking. The paths that we choose to follow at this time are vital. We cannot play with fire. That is why the experience and calm of senior profiles are rising values. And more that they should continue to be.

It is important that the ship and its navigators know the port to which they sail. There will always be setbacks, waves, and even storms. But the course must be clear, and the destination must be known and assumed by all. And if this is always the most important thing in an industrial organization, it is now more than ever. And the experienced leader knows it better than anyone else.