Temperament Matters

The one thing that a leader is not born with, but rather has to develop is 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.

Temperament refers to a person’s nature or disposition, especially as it affects his or her behavior. It is the ability to “step out of the game” when criticized or insulted. The person who can quiet the self can see the world clearly, can learn the subject and master the situation.

Successful leaders learn how to manage their reactions to the nastiness. They look at tense situations as if they were observers who are removed in time. They see their interests and those of their critics, and because it doesn’t feel personal they react as calmly as actors on a stage. Attack these leaders, and they smile.

Those with a 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.

Temperament matters. A lot.

Summing-up: Behaviors aren’t hard-wired or innate, and you are responsible for the way you act. What’s more, temperament is a skill for which leaders must take ownership.

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