5 Types of Leadership – Why it Matters

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Leadership matters, because it’s a skill we develop thanks to three important influences in our lives: education, personality and challenges.

Education gives you the theoretical framework to evaluate each situation, teaches you to look around for solutions and implement a problem-solving flowchart in your head. Personality provides the attitude to face any particular challenge, and to evaluate how capable you are to resolve it efficiently on your own or helped by others. And the challenges you’ve faced in life take you to an empirical framework that leads to certainty, which is useful in order to resolve difficulties and problems with a structure.

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This said, there are at least five types of leaderships that use education, personality and challenges you’ve faced differently: i) Laissez-Faire, ii) Autocratic, iii) Participative, iv) Transactional, v) transformational.

I’d like to go and explain briefly each of them, and later I’ll tell you which one I think I’ve developed, and the one I considered, nowadays, very obsolete and negative.

i) Laissez-Faire

This person pretty much doesn’t give a crap about what the team is doing or planning. Confides the strategy in a very experienced group of people that needs close to zero supervision. He doesn’t get involved.

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ii) Autocratic

This guy is a jerk, just as an example, the Cuban government or the North Korean dictatorship represent this kind of leadership. An autocratic leader pretty much does as he wishes without considering others. He is extremely against creativeness, common sense and rewarding great performance.

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iii) Participative

This guy values the team’s opinion and everyone’s perspective counts. This keeps the group motivated and keen to do their best in order to collaborate to find a solution. He or she makes the team members to come together, as part of a bigger plan, focused on delivering great decisions and strategies for amazing projects.

See? They are happy and celebrating with paper planes and stuff! Yeah!

iv) TransactionalBvQXa4ECEAIUdOS

This is a more traditional approach on leadership, this person performs as a supervisor of a few, driving his team on a scheme of punishments and rewards. So, the goals are set, and the employee has to accomplish those goals in order to be rewarded, if not, a punishment is expected. Usually employees do just enough, not looking for a reward, but trying more to avoid any kind of negative outcomes.

v) transformational

Finally, this lad pretty much likes showing off, but still, makes enough of an impact within his team to motivate them to perform above average. He requires a lot of the organization and high management’s support.

So, in the end, I reckon that, thanks to the great mentors I’ve had, the experience I’ve gathered and the places I’ve been, plus, the variables we already mentioned, I’m a very participative leader.

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My mission in life is to serve as a guide to my team, as a mentor, as a person that will encourage them to become better professionals, and more knowledgeables of their capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. My goal is to boost my team’s productivity, making them feel important and relevant to the main objectives of the company. Because my team matters, and success is only achieved by teamwork and positive attitude.

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What about the Autocratic leader? Well, we ought to know how to identify this kind of “leadership” right away, as sometimes, it doesn’t encourage a productive environment. The Autocratic pursues a selfish goal of protagonism and power, their contribution to the group is weak, and their manners lack the basic “Thank you” and “please”, which seems forgotten in their vocabulary.

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I usually deal with this kind of leader with empathy, kindness, listening and a good attitude. Remember: smile. It confuses those around you.

What kind of leader are you? But the real question I reckon is: What kind of these types of leaderships will encourage you to become a better person? What would you like to be for others, just a boss, or a mentor?

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Happy Mexican Festivus

Can I talk to you guys about happy things? I just feel like talking about great things today, as far as I know, regardless of how cloudy the day gets, well, there´s always a bright side, right? Besides, only two more days until Christmas, so, let´s be nice to each other (especially you, the quasi-hipster about to complain to the clerk at that organic coffee place because of the temperature of your soy-slim-latte-machiatto-doubleshot).

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Even if you aren´t feeling particularly optimist today, that doesn´t mean you aren´t thankful for the life you are living and the people walking alongside with you every day (except those vegetarians… but until we find a cure…).

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Mi casa es tu casa

So, let´s talk about something awesome, my country: Mexico. This is a great place where to be, regardless of the political turmoil, the poverty, the corrupted political system, having the U.S.A. as neighbour, still, Mexico is amazing. I´m thankful I was born here; I love travelling around the world and being able to say proudly “I´m Mexican”. There´s nothing greater than to listen to people´s reaction when I say where I´m from.

  • “So, you like to party hard?”
  • “Do you guys ride donkeys as a primitive form of transportation?”
  • “Why do you speak English, aren´t you supposed to speak only Mexican?”
  • “You guys are great at dancing”
  • “What is it with the chilli lollies?”
  • “Are you a Luchadore?”
  • “Eat this Jalapeno!”
  • “Ay caramba!”
  • “Do you sell weed?”

Besides, being Mexican is clearly a competitive advantage, specifically in how we find our way into happiness every single time. I know, after the war on drugs (“after”, it is still happening no matter what the current administration´s efforts to hide it), people decided that life must go on, and that they couldn´t be living in the shadows.

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The Zocalo, the cathedral, the flag… this is Mexico

Today, Mexicans know these are hard times, the political arena is confusing and the government isn´t really focusing on the people but in the private sector to reactivate the local economy. However, Mexicans have something more important, the strength of this country is its people´s faith, passion, patience, and hope, intangible values that motivate my countrymen into believing they can do it, and trust me, most of the time they do and achieve amazing things.

So, this existential post is dedicated to my country, its people, culture and values. Whenever you get the chance, come to Mexico, you won´t regret it.

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Happy holidays to all of you, I´ll be hanging out with these amazing girls: my sisters.

Eat, Design and Carry On

As I have told you (yes, you, my five readers), I’ve returned to Mexico. In this slow process of re-adaptation, I’ve been inspired by several people, whom have followed their dreams and materialized their projects. Two of them have inspired me to write this post.

Inspired by the movie Sidewalls (Medianeras), set in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Florencia Gaffner; a gorgeous Argentinian girl with an amazing sense of humour and the most entertaining way to tell stories. Flor (as we call her, which means “flower” by the way) is a graphic designer and a film lover as she describes herself every time she introduces herself. Following her dreams she dared to share with the world beautiful patterns. Opy’s Patterns Project is an outstanding and enjoyable blog. Here, she explains briefly (however, with literary grace) what influences her to design each new pattern. Zoe Walker, writer for VIVA Magazine NZ “loved it”, and believe me, someone like her can’t be wrong.

Melissa Suki is a great chef with an awesome vibe, and just like my

“Because a morning without coffee is something without something”

other mate, she isn’t afraid of following her dreams. She opened her own business “Cafe de Papel” (or “Paper Coffee”), a great combination of a coffee place, a dinning and a casual library. Suki has combined her cooking skills with her love for culture and art (she proclaims herself a “hipster”, but she is cool, don’t you worry). Great ambiance, lovely furnished place and glorious food (actually, one of the few places in Mexico where you can find decent coffee).

The moral of these stories is simple, follow your dreams, don’t take crap from anybody, keep calm, carry on, materialize your fantasies, don’t fear success and take the leap.

Ps 1. Follow Florencia here: http://opyspatternproject.blogspot.mx/

Ps2. Follow Cafe de Papel over here: https://twitter.com/CafeDePapel and here: www.facebook.com/CafeDePapel. This place is located in Monterrey (Filosofos 207, close to Tec de Monterrey)

An Illiterate Leadership

Literacy is important in every society, it determines a group of people’s ability to be informed and their potential to understand current events and their history while fostering creativity and initiative. Therefore, literacy does affect the capacity of each society to analyze, discriminate and disseminate information. Sometimes, this ability isn’t determined by their level of development: Cuba, although, considered a “developing country” can be found in the top 10 of the global Literacy rank; Mexico is ranked 129, in case you were wondering.

The definition of literacy states that it is an “intellectual process of gaining meaning from a critical interpretation of the written text” (It is taken from wikipedia, please donate). Literacy isn’t only knowing how to read and write ‘stuff’, it is also the proper usage of information and insights from any written product that will lead to informed decisions.

Some people say that literacy in our leaders isn’t as crucial as their personality, leadership and experience, I disagree. However, some world leaders aren’t that bright, and that could be linked to their literacy level, leading them to wrong decisions. The (apparently) elected Mexican president for the next administration (2012-2018), Enrique Pena Nieto, is one of those ‘illiterate’ leaders.

Unfortunately, if you don’t appreciate culture and literature, it is very unlikely that you will encourage others to read and become informed. Don’t you think?

“The leadership benefits of reading are wide-ranging. Evidence suggests reading can improve intelligence and lead to innovation and insight.” John Coleman – For Those Who Want to Lead, Read

Ps. Pena Nieto showed his lack of culture and literacy when he tried to explain to the audience which three books have influenced his life the most. This happened during the International Book Fair in Guadalajara (this video is very hard to watch, please forgive me).

Ps2. My favourite books: 1984, Le Petite Prince, Siddharta, Life of Pi, Catcher in the Rye, The Chrysalids.