[October 27, 2013] Good leaders are not defined by any one temperament. Leaders come with a variety of temperaments that may change depending upon the circumstances that are needed to produce a particular set of results.
There are times when situations demand that the leader have a cool and stable temperament. The most obvious is that of a military leader that faces a grave situation involving combat. Or, it could be a CEO who some grave situation that threatens to destroy the organization.
Under those situations, employees will look to the senior leader more than ever. They will realize that their livelihood depends upon the decisions and actions of the leader. They look to the leader to provide the capacity and authority to produce a successful solution.
In this case the leader must have a cool and stable temperament. This cool and stable leader must be patient, understanding of the situation, and take decisive action most appropriate to confront the challenge. Employees will have more confidence in a leader that is “calm under fire.”
This leader must show resolve, persistence, sincerity, and a calm demeanor. There is no need to be expressive or charismatic – although this is helpful. The leader must be both trustworthy and competent enough to accomplish the task. This does not mean either that the leader lacks passion, yet herein lays the challenge. How do you show passion and zeal yet be calm and stable?
Caustic leaders, on the other hand, will create anxiety and unpredictability. It does not take much for the organization to panic or subordinate leaders to make bad decisions based upon little or no information or upon emotion.
When it comes to making a choice of the personality of a leader in a challenging situation, the one most likely to be successful is the one with the ability to display the right temperament at the right time – in this case … a cool and stable temperament.