That one essential quality every leader should possess

What is it that sets leaders apart? What makes them be seen in a completely different light? It’s not a charismatic voice or a degree from Harvard. It is simply the act of taking responsibility for making decisions that may affect their peers and subordinates.

Parents deciding what sport they should get their child enrolled in, bosses delegating projects, directors guiding their actors on how a scene should be performed- these are all leaders making decisions and guiding others. Researchers at the University Of Zurich Department Of Economics have found out that one quality that separates followers from leaders is RESPONSIBILTY AVERSION or the unwillingness to take decision for others and be held accountable for the same.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”

Leaders of groups could either make a decision themselves or delegate it to the group. Scientists looked into the neurological processes behind the unwillingness of people to take responsibility or make decisions for others. They tested different common intuitive beliefs, like control, fear and found out that the aversion is mostly because of a greater need for certainty about others. Thus people make the best decisions when they know others are on the same track, this helps them to lead better. They feel better prepared and are confident to lead the way.

Scientists developed a decision paradigm in which an individual can delegate the decision making power about a choice between a safe and a risky option to their group or keep the right to decide. In the “self” trails, only the individual’s payoff is at risk whereas in the “group” trials, every group member’s payoff gets affected.

Lead author Micah Edelson says, “Because this framework highlights the change in the amount of certainty required to make a decision and not the individual’s general tendency for assuming control, it can account for many different leadership styles.”

Following are five decision making skills that can benefit you:

1. Identify critical factors which will affect the outcome of a decision.

2. Evaluate options accurately and establish priorities.

3. Anticipate outcomes and see logical consequences.

4. Navigate risk and uncertainty.

5. Reason well in contexts requiring quantitative analysis.

Leaders are those who don’t hesitate when they have to make tough calls and can make a choice for the welfare of others. They take responsibility of others which helps them win their trust.

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