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Alisa Miniotaitė: The Toxic Colors of Leadership
Alisa Miniotaitė: Ingredients of Empathy

Alisa Miniotaitė: How to Grow a Leader?

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Would I wish my kids to become leaders? Yes. Why?

Let‘s start from the fact, that statistically, leaders are much more satisfied with their job: they feel more important, have more freedom and autonomy to act, their work is more interesting and they earn more money.

From all of these things, I feel the most motivated by the freedom to act, freedom to make decisions, opportunity to participate in the decision-making process.

Of course, there is another side of the coin – responsibility. Here responsibility is more like a burden or maybe happiness?

The burden, because other people’s destiny might depend on you and if you make a wrong decision – all the arrows come to you, you feel guilty, maybe lose sleep. So, the price is high.

On the other side, there is happiness, because responsibility gives meaning. Have you ever regretted in life after you had taken responsibility? Probably not. Have you ever felt regret because you did not take responsibility? I think, yes. Responsibility makes our life richer, gives meaning and opportunities.

Of course, it is not necessary to grow our kids as leaders from the beginning. It will be enough if you raise a healthy, free and brave personality.

How to grow a leader in the organization?

Most of the companies (in a formal way) grow some specific people for this role – talented employees, who might become leaders in the future.

What features should leaders have? First, he should feel a desire to become a leader. Can all, who desire, become leaders? Theoretically – yes, practically – no. There are some other important qualities: competence and intellect, curiosity and desire to learn, ability to communicate and find an agreement with other people, courage, and desire to take responsibility.

Most of the time there is a lack of courage and no desire to take responsibility. Why do people miss exactly these qualities?

Some people like to live in comfort and feel safe. If you like safety – probably, leadership is not your best choice. Especially when you are rising in your career – then a person does not have too much security. Every day is full of risk, search for the best solutions, fast life speed, extra working hours, and tiredness. To be honest, nobody must dive into the unknown. If you do not have the desire to be a leader it does not mean that you are not successful. Everybody can choose his own way. A person can do a meaningful job also by being a good specialist.

What do we have to do in the company to grow a good leader? The first step – help the person to get involved in decision making, important, new projects and encourage leadership – give the opportunity to lead when an important task should be performed, lead a small team. If we see that an employee does not want to get involved, it will be the answer at this stage.

It is important to pay attention to whether a person can be a good example for others. This question is important: will the other people in the company achieve good results by copying his behavior? Sometimes I see that people who avoid hard work or cannot perform their duties well are seeking a leader‘s position. This kind of leader will always be a bad example for others. A leader‘s authority is one of the most important and most inspiring features.

If we want to have a leader who leads by his own example then, probably, we have to be a good example of courage, responsibility, empathy, and ability to communicate with people. Not only at work but also in our family, for our children.


Dr. Alisa Miniotaitė is a management and leadership expert, founder of UAB ALISA MANAGEMENT LABORATORY, ISM University of Management and Economics, Leadership Program Manager

Commentary is published in the news radio show “Leader’s Dilemma” and news page

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