November 16, 2017
By Esogibe Ikenna
Temperament connotes disposition, an outlook on the world but also a sense of individuality that radiates self-assurance.
In my experience, people with good temperament are those who bring people toward them. Why? Because they invite smart people and feel warmed by their presence. That in turn encourages a spirit of contribution that leads to collaboration.
There is something else about leaders with good temperament: they share the credit. So often, good leaders talk first about what the team has accomplished rather than what they as individuals have done. The emphasis on temperament should not denigrate the role of intellect. We want to follow a leader who has the smarts to evaluate alternatives, a leader who is confident in his or her own intellect to make the right call after the smart people have shared their ideas and their counsel.
It is the leader who must make the final decision. Temperament is a strong attribute of leadership; those with a temperament that is more focused on others will be those who can lead the most effectively.
The judging and perceiving personality styles relate to how a person prefers to interact with the outside world. The judging temperament is characteristic of an orderly leader. The perceiving temperament is characteristic of a more flexible leadership style. Judgers are generally comfortable with tasks related to time management and organizing. In contrast, the perceiver tends to be more spontaneous and flexible with managing time.
A leader is not born with, but rather has to develop his temperament; physical, mental and emotional capabilities are up at the top of the chart, but what one forgets is that temperament is as vital as any of the other qualities of a leader.
I have been privileged to meet with a leader from our earlier days, who has the charisma and skill required to lead a very highly skilled team. The individual is of the same unique age bracket and has led a technologically skilled team successfully. Yes, there are issues with team management, and there is a learning curve for everyone to negotiate. What the bystander forgets is that the entire process involves a lot of exchange. Information, proper communication and understanding required to be able to form a successful team. I dare say from first hand experience that this man is a very good leader with unique temparament.
Few days ago, perhaps after his rumoured purported “impeachment”, while in an attendance in one of the state event recently, what caught my attention was some aggressive feedback given to Prince Ezeakonobi Madumere, MFR by his interviewee ace Journalists, about what proper leadership should be. Ideally, one would stop and educate individuals like these about the temperamental requirement for a leader. I chose to stand and observed.
And I realized that Prince Madumere who was questioned had developed a temperament beyond anyone else’s comprehension. This individual just smiled and acknowledged the feedback from the person when hard core and disturbing questions about his rumoured ordeal were received by him.
What I learned from this exchange is that a leader never ceases to be a leader. He/ she only gets better with time, and the learning adds to the abilities of a leader. Some of the world’s best leaders have grown into icons over time. Everyone knows the story of Hercules, who started off as a warrior and grew into a leader of epic proportions.
History has seen examples like Tsun Zu, Napoleon Bonaparte, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and today, Prince Eze Madumere etc. In the present day, everyone looks up to at least one among the likes of Pope Francis, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jeff Bezos or Lakshmi Mittal among other stalwarts. These are examples of solid temperament, known the world over.
They just never stopped learning. Among all these, a few names that I think could feature in the Fortune top 50 world leaders list in the near future are Narendra Modi, Larry Page, Indra Nooyi and Jeane Beker among other strong spirited individuals.
The one thing that these individuals have in common is the temperament to be a leader; an attitude that does not shy away from learning, and changing with time; and the charm and charisma to inspire. Good luck to all young leaders who want to make a difference. My two bits of advice to you is to accept and, if possible, understand that temperament is something that you develop throughout your journey and not only when you are in power.
*Esogibe Ikenna is an Opinion Moulder and Social Crusader*