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WorkVine: 5 Leadership Qualities We Can Learn from Optimus Prime
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Robert Half's WorkVine® blog series addresses the lighter side of the workplace, with fun topics to help you get through the workday.
One thing’s for sure: You must be a great leader if you’re a Peterbilt 379. That’s the form Optimus Prime took when he accepted the Matrix of Leadership and became the head of the Autobots — the "good guys" in the new movie Transformers: Age of Extinction. Optimus Prime has leadership qualities to spare and can teach us all a thing or two about how to manage and lead a good team. Wield the Matrix of Leadership title in your firm by learning these five savvy leadership qualities:
Defending the fate of the Autobots — as well as all of humanity — against the evil race of Decepticons takes extraordinary vision. Optimus Prime excels as a leader because he is committed to the cause and attempts to overcome every obstacle with a well-thought-out strategy. Make sure you know your firm’s goals and priorities and how they’re connected to long-term success.
2. Communication skills
Once you have a plan for the future, you need strong communication skills to convey the details to the team. Optimus Prime excels at soft skills, which are leadership qualities as effective as his ion blaster and energon axe. Prime rallies the Autobots whenever the Decepticons pose a threat. He inspires his followers because he lets them know he cares about them, and he speaks directly and honestly with them. He also knows when to listen and willingly accepts feedback. To ensure smooth operations and maintain productivity, you must communicate effectively with your employees.
The main difference between Optimus Prime and the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron, is integrity. Prime values all forms of life — he doesn't even like when a Decepticon is killed. Optimus Prime never asks his followers to do what he won’t do himself, and he steers clear of any dirty tactics along the way. Prime leads without fear or intimidation. Others flock to him because of the selfless devotion he has shown to those whose lives he touches. Adding Prime-like integrity to your arsenal of leadership qualities means guiding your staff with a commitment to being honest and forthright. Remember: You set the tone for the office.
The Autobot team is loaded with talent. One of Prime's leadership qualities is his ability to effectively collaborate by harnessing each team member's strengths. Whether it's Ironhide's weaponry expertise, Ratchet's healing skills, Bumblebee's optimism and loyalty, or Arcee's hunting prowess, Prime utilizes each one in ways that maximize efficiency and productivity. To lead like Optimus Prime, you must be able to identify and capitalize on the talents that each team member possesses. A true leader will not only bring out the strengths of the team, but also use them to bring the team together.
Another one of Prime's leadership qualities is trust. He knows he can’t handle all the group’s key projects, such as taking down Megatron, himself. Like all great leaders, he delegates authority to his employees, giving them the power to do what’s needed to accomplish their assigned tasks without micromanagement. He also knows when it's safe to trust: Because Prime isn't gullible, he has avoided many disastrous partnerships with deceptive Decepticons.