What ingredients make a good leader?
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How, then, to put together the various aspects of leadership that we have discussed over this series of columns? It would not be hyperbole to suggest that the well-being of our country is at stake. Besides, leadership is important in all organizations, including families.
Maybe it is like putting together a complex recipe for an important meal. Sometimes it needs to be complex and sometimes simple. When any organization is in trouble, certain leadership qualities seem particularly important. The recipe that might be used in this situation includes charisma, multiculturalism, coalition building capability, emotional and historical intelligence, and laughter.
Some of the “right stuff” of emotional intelligence seems to be a necessary ingredient to start this recipe. Charisma, like the appearance of a meal, gets attention and the promise of help. Making a variety of ingredients work together, a multicultural perspective, including some gender fluidity, increases empathy and knowledge of others. Avoiding trial and error failures by knowing history can prevent repetitions of its failure. A pinch of laugher at times of stress can be a relief. The end goal is to enhance the mental health of the diners.
Like treatment adverse effects, many things can go wrong in this recipe. Charisma can lead to cultish followers. Emotional intelligence can be used to find weaknesses in others that can be manipulated to their harm. Multiculturalism can lead to unforgiving wokeness. History can be outdated. As if the most important ingredient is missing, sometimes the problem is a lack of any leader, as is now being reported in the Uvalde school mass shooting. When inevitable problems arise, being able to laugh it all off at times can be a relief.
The diners or followers have certain choices, too. They can look for a savior who is overpriced and uses spoiled ingredients. Or, they can carefully ask what goes into this leadership meal and assess whether it will likely be to their tastes and needs, or not. Maybe we can hope that a masterpiece meal will be served up.
Do you have a leadership recipe of your own to share? Tell us at PTEditor@MMHGroup.com.
Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.