Las personas que confunden estas 3 palabras críticas tienen una inteligencia emocional muy baja

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¿Trabaja con un equipo, entonces este artículo es para usted? Está diseñado para mejorar las posibilidades de que logres tus objetivos.

Suena como un gran trabajo, lo sé. Pero funciona.

Muchas personas pasan por la vida pensando que comprenden las diferencias entre tres palabras clave.

Luego, casi tan pronto como la teoría da paso a la práctica, todo se derrumba, principalmente porque nunca exploraron todos los conceptos de una manera integrada y emocionalmente inteligente.

Si es escéptico, está bien. De hecho, se anima.

Pero creo que en breve estará de acuerdo en que los matices aquí pueden significar fácilmente la diferencia entre el éxito y el fracaso, o, quizás lo que es más importante, «suficientemente buenos» y verdaderamente excepcionales.

Aquí están las tres palabras: liderar, gestionary Consecuencias.

Confía en mí en esto. Primero repasaremos brevemente las definiciones del diccionario con Merriam-Webster. Resumiré, y si quieres profundizar más, puedes.

Pero luego mostraremos por qué tantas personas son víctimas de una serie de falacias relacionadas con estas importantes palabras, cosas que nos han enseñado y reforzado una y otra vez, y cómo pueden socavar el desempeño de todos.

BUENO. Nuestras definiciones resumidas:

  • Guía: «Liderar en un camino, especialmente caminando adelante» o «Conducir en un rumbo o en una dirección».
  • Gestionar: «Instrucción ejecutiva, administrativa y reglamentaria de» o «Establecer y cumplir».
  • Seguir: «ir, continuar o venir después» o «aceptar como autoridad».

Ya sospecho que algunos lectores mirarán estas definiciones y verán matices que no esperaban. Admito que tuve algunas ideas sorprendentes cuando comencé a revisarlas.

Pero recién estamos comenzando. Y creo que descubrirás que explorar cada concepto y, lo más importante, trabajar para desempeñar cada papel lo mejor que puedas, cuando se te pida que lo hagas de una manera emocionalmente inteligente significa algo diferente de lo que la mayoría de la gente piensa intuitivamente.

Resumámoslo. Recuerde, nos vamos a centrar en las diferencias entre las palabras y las relaciones de las personas que desempeñan cada papel.

Liderazgo como concepto

Para empezar, me gustaría abordar un problema importante en el liderazgo. Es así que los líderes – incluso aquellos que se consideran centrados o los llamados «líderes servidores» – pueden considerarse en la cima de la pirámide.

Los gerentes son importantes, críticos e importantes. Pero los grandes líderes entienden que no son suficientes.

Muchas personas en puestos gerenciales simplemente no entienden eso. Y cuanto más un supuesto líder lidia con el concepto de superioridad sobre los gerentes o seguidores debajo de él, es más probable que sea un fracaso.

Establezcamos un precedente para el resto de este artículo: si no usa un lenguaje que sugiera que cualquiera de estos roles está «por encima» o «por debajo» de los demás.

Puedes escribir tus organigramas como quieras, pero una vez que literalmente colocas al líder por encima del resto de las partes, refuerzas esta propuesta autodestructiva.

Te digo que las palabras son importantes. Cuanto más liderazgo proviene de la autoridad, menos eficaz suele volverse.

Cuanto más auténtico es un líder, más eficaz puede ser.

¿Ves a dónde vamos con esto? En un contexto empresarial, la persona llamada a liderar, que está siendo promovida a lo que llamamos «liderazgo», probablemente tenga un título impresionante. Es probable que a él o ella se le pague más. (No siempre.)

Pero estas son características de la oficina, no características que contribuyen al éxito.

De hecho, el verdadero líder brilla a través de la creatividad, la integridad, la inspiración, el juicio y la comunicación, casi independientemente del puesto.

La gestión como concepto

Admito que en algún momento me vi envuelto en este error jerárquico.

De hecho, una vez escribí un artículo muy popular que se volvió viral alabando las virtudes en competencia de Grandes líderes en contraste con meros gerentes.

Estaba equivocado. Al menos no estaba tan bien como debería haber estado.

Un gerente eficaz tiene que ser un buen líder, pero el «mero liderazgo» no es suficiente para convertirse en un «gerente realmente excelente».

Como analogía, piense en un atleta excepcional. Podrías decir que es un corredor muy rápido, o podrías llamarla campeona de carreras. La característica refuerza el resultado.

La gestión excepcional también implica un alto (y encomiable) nivel de confianza: confianza en los objetivos generales y confianza en los procesos funcionales que otros miembros del equipo han identificado (idealmente, pero no siempre en colaboración con el gerente).

También implica humildad, en parte porque incluso si aquellos de nosotros que llegamos a esta comprensión ingeniosa de lo que divide el liderazgo, la gestión y el seguimiento aceptamos esa comprensión, la mayor parte del mundo no lo acepta.

La mayor parte del mundo no hace el trabajo y, en cambio, toma el atajo hacia la comprensión menos completa.

No es culpa del gerente. Y, francamente, no es su problema.

La lealtad como concepto

Ahora llegamos al crescendo, y la parte de él que tan a menudo y fácilmente se pasa por alto.

Los seguidores obtienen el extremo corto del palo (o el extremo difuso de la piruleta si lo prefieren). Están agrupados juntos en masaporque suele haber más de ellos.

Cuando hablamos de negocios, generalmente se les paga menos.

Demonios, cuando eras pequeño, tu mamá probablemente te dijo que no lo fueras. (Lo que ella realmente quiso decir fue, no seas un buen seguidor que sigue a un mal líder).

Debido a esto, los roles de seguidores pueden ser los más ingratos y difíciles a la vez. Y si no están dirigidos por líderes realmente grandes, lo revisan.

Pero salgamos de la trampa de las posiciones oficiales y asumamos el papel. Porque un verdadero seguidor es como el verdadero líder y gerente: Importante. Crítico. Vital.

Y, francamente, mucho más cerca de lo suficiente. De hecho, casi todos los que tienen más práctica en un equipo deben asumir los roles de líder, gerente y sucesor, tanto de manera secuencial como a veces simultáneamente.

Los mejores seguidores aportan confianza y humildad, integridad, compromiso y empatía a sus equipos.

Y cuando se le pida que lo siga, haga un compromiso en el momento.

Inteligencia emocional

Si ha leído hasta aquí, probablemente ya sea uno de ese grupo dedicado que comprende estos conceptos y se esfuerza por practicarlos, incluso si no se le ha pedido que los articule.

Esta comprensión es un signo de inteligencia emocional.

Porque, en esencia, la inteligencia emocional consiste en ponerse en el lugar de las personas con las que interactúa de forma muy táctica.

Se trata de imaginar que tus palabras llegan a sus oídos y que tus acciones se ven en sus ojos, tanto porque es una forma amable y empática de vivir la vida, como porque es mucho más probable que tú, con suerte, aceptarán estos hallazgos. logrará sus metas.

El líder que no solo se concentra en adónde quiere ir, sino que piensa en la integridad de los procesos que requiere de los gerentes, o en la confianza y humildad que les sigue, será más efectivo.

Resplandecerá el directivo que se dedique a lograr las metas con las que se compromete la organización y que respete tanto el liderazgo como los roles sucesores que incluyen independientemente del título oficial.

Y el devoto, al darse cuenta de que nada en todo el sistema puede funcionar sin su compromiso, mientras muestra respeto por sí mismo, confianza y curiosidad, lo hace todo posible.

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas propias, no las de Inc.com.

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If you're skeptical, that's fine. In fact, it's encouraged. 

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But I think you'll agree shortly that the nuances here can easily mean the difference between success and failure -- or perhaps more importantly, between "good enough" and truly exceptional.

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Here are the three words: lead, manage, and follow

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Trust me on this. We'll briefly go through the dictionary definitions first, using Merriam-Webster. I'm summarizing, and if you want to dig deeper you can. 

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But then, we'll show why so many people fall victim to a series of fallacies relating to these important words -- things we've been taught and reinforced over and over -- and how they can undercut everyone's performance.

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OK. Our summary definitions:

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  • Lead: "to guide on a way especially by going in advance," or "to direct on a course or in a direction."
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  • Manage: "to exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of," or "to make and keep compliant."
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  • Follow: "to go, proceed, or come after," or "to accept as authority."

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Already, I suspect some readers will look at these definitions and see nuances that they weren't expecting. I acknowledge that I had some surprising realizations when I first started reviewing them.

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But we're just getting started. And I think you'll find that exploring each concept, and more importantly, working to play each role to the utmost when you're called upon, in an emotionally intelligent manner, means something different than most people intuitively think.

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Let's break it down. Remember, we'll be focusing on the differences among the words and the relationships of the people playing each role.

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Leadership as a concept

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At the outset, I want to address a big problem in leadership. It's that leaders -- even those who think of themselves as other-centered, or so-called "servant-leaders" -- can come to think of themselves as being at the top of the pyramid.

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Leaders are important, critical and vital. But truly great leaders understand that they are not sufficient. 

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Many people in leadership positions simply don't get this. And, the more a supposed leader buys into the notion of superiority to the managers or followers beneath him or her, the more likely failure becomes.

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In fact, let's set a precedent for the rest of this article: not using language suggesting one of these roles is "above" or "beneath" the others.

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You can write your org charts any way you like, I suppose, but as soon as you put the leader literally on top of the others involved, you reinforce this self-defeating proposition.

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I'm telling you, words matter. Usually, the more that leadership derives from authority, the less effective it becomes.

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The more authentic a leader is, the more effective he or she can be.

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Do you see where we are going with this? In a business context, the person who is called on to lead -- who is placed in what we think of as a "leadership position," probably has an impressive title. He or she likely gets paid the most. (Not always, though.)

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But those are trappings of office, not characteristics contributing to success.  

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In fact, the true leader shines through creativity, integrity, inspiration, judgment, and communication -- almost regardless of the position he or she holds.

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Management as a concept

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I admit I bought into this hierarchical fallacy at one point. 

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In fact, I once wrote a highly popular article that went viral, extolling the competing virtues of great leaders as opposed to mere managers.

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I was wrong. At least, I wasn't as right as I should have been.

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An effective manager has to be a good leader -- but "mere leadership" is not sufficient to become a "truly great manager."

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As an analogy, think of an exceptional athlete. You might say he or she is a very fast runner, or you might call them a champion racer. The characeristic empowers the result.

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Exceptional management also involves a high (and praiseworthy) level of trust: Trust in the overall objectives, and trust in the functional processes that others on the team (ideally but not always with the collaboration of the manager) have identified.

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It also involves humility, in part because even if those of us who come to this artful understanding of what separates leading, managing and following embrace that understanding -- most of the world doesn't.

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Most of the world doesn't do the work, and instead takes the shortcut to less-complete comprehension. 

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That's not the manager's fault. And frankly, it's not his or her problem.

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Followership as a concept

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Now we get to the crescendo -- and the part of this that is so often and easily overlooked.

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Followers get the short end of the stick (or the fuzzy end of the lollipop, if you prefer). They're grouped together en masse, because there are usually more of them.

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If we're talking about business, they usually get paid less. 

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Heck, when you were growing up, your mother probably told you not to be one. (What she really meant was: Don't be a good follower who follows a bad leader.)

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This is why followers' roles can be simultaneously the most thankless and the most difficult. And unless they're being managed by some truly great leaders, they see through all of it. 

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But let's free ourselves from the trap of official positions, and instead embrace the role. Because a true follower is just like the true leader and manager: Important. Critical. Vital.

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And frankly, a lot closer to sufficient. In fact, practiced most effectively on a team, almost everyone should be performing the roles of leader, manager, and follower -- both sequentially and at times concurrently.

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The best followers bring confidence and humility, integrity, dedication, and empathy to their teams.

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And when they're called on to follow, they commit to it in the moment.

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Emotional intelligence

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If you've read this far, I suspect you're already among the dedicated group that understands these concepts and strives to practice them, even if you haven't been called on to articulate them like this before.

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That understanding is a sign of emotional intelligence.

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Because at its core, emotional intelligence is about putting yourself, on a very tactical basis, in the shoes of the people you interact with.

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It's about envisioning how your words land on their ears and your actions are seen in their eyes-;both because it's a kind, empathetic way to go through life, but also because embracing those understandings makes it much more likely that you, hopefully they, will accomplish your goals.

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The leader who doesn't just focus on where he or she wants to go, but who instead thinks about the integrity of the processes that he's asking managers to use, or embraces the trust and humility that those following her demonstrate, will be more effective.

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The manager who dedicates himself or herself to executing the goals that the organization espouses, and who respects both the leadership and followership roles that encapsulate her without regard to official title, will shine.

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And, the follower who recognizes that nothing in the whole system can possibly work without his or her dedication, while evincing self-respect, confidence, and curiosity, makes the whole thing possible.

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