3 Rules of Optimal Leadership


Rule 1. A great leader is first & foremost, an optimal team-player

This means they speak to suggest, they speak to encourage others to share their vision… they speak to listen and learn.

The egocentric western world, values extroversion, to its own detriment.

It can be hard to hold back from sharing every single thought or idea you have before refining it adequately, hence the ever-growing problem of misinformation. Therefore, extroverts should utilise their energies, to encourage our more introverted colleagues, to share their thoughts within our meeting circles.

When we are silent, the non-dominant cerebral hemisphere has a better ability to work. It is the side of the brain involved in creative processes. In 95% of individuals the right side of the brain is the non-dominant hemisphere. So we should be grateful and inclusive of our more introverted colleagues and friends, as they most likely to be sitting on the next big idea.

Ideas literally are like a bulb lighting up, arising from the subconscious into consciousness, only if you are silent and paying attention though.

Rule 2. A great leader, makes those around them feel powerful

They seek collaboration, as it is way more fun to win as a group than an individual. A group win, crystallises multiple psychic visions into a unified whole…for the theistic reader, we can weakly correlate this with “The Holy Communion’. I do not mean this in a blasphemous way, but rather that working as a team does require an element of sacrifice, dedication and mutual understanding, between all of those involved. Ultimately what gels the team together is a united vision, to make things, at the least slightly, better than the current state of play.

Rule 3. A great leader is 20% gifted, and 80% made

When I say that a great leader is 20% gifted, I am referring to their temperament. Temperament in psychology, is the inherited aspect of personality. The remainder of one’s personality is nurtured through their socio-developmental experience. So even if you are not genetically blessed, you can work on your personality through space and time, in order to nurture and become a more wholesome being. With life experiences, you can draw upon different dispositions, on the extraverted-introverted and emotional-rational spectra, as most fitting to a particular situation. This is called “emotional intelligence”. Those rare individuals, who can transition swiftly between dispositions have a powerful tool in their social repertoire.

Sanguine = optimistic. Phlegmatic = calm. Melancholic = sad. Choleric = irritable.

Great professors are purveyors of knowledge, but more importantly, they are amazing, charming human beings to be around.

I have had the opportunity to work with 4 such professors, in the last decade. These professors come from Sweden, Greco-German and more recently Scotland. As you can see, their origins lie in a diaspora of locales, yet they all brought to me the most pleasant and welcoming of mannerisms. They made a mere medical student, in my early 20’s, and then a junior doctor, in my mid-20’s, feel like a powerful young man around them. A man encouraged to share his scattered ideas. And yes, these 4 personalities include males and a female. For sure we need more academically minded, emotionally sound females in our institutions, to be role models for the current generation.

As a young man I was never chased for running behind on my deadlines, but on the rare occasion when I made them angry, I would know that I really f**ked up.

They would still welcome me back in, and review my work, even though their bottomless diaries had a never-ending stream of appointments coming through. This is what separates a good leader, from great.

A great leader cares more about their people, than their projects.

Because they know, that if they foster greatness in their followers, the followers will undoubtedly work harder for them, and bring forth novel ideas for exploration. Their followers may well have the conceptual framework, for their next…big…project.

I look forward to hearing your experiences of good, bad, and great leadership in the comments section. Thank you for reading.



Dr Ad ALI• Physician-Philosopher

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