"The best leaders are the ones your team would choose if they had the chance"
Cristina Moyano was born in Madrid, although she is close to Barcelona due to family ties. She has a joint degree (BAM from ICADE and Marketing from Parsons The New School in New York). She studied executive education programmes at universities such as Columbia and IE and holds an Executive MBA. She has developed her professional career between Spain and the USA and has dedicated eight years to strategic consulting. Over the last eight years, she has focused on the world of entrepreneurship. She was part of the founding team of Endeavor Spain and has been working at Amadeus Ventures, Amadeus IT Group's startup investment programme, for four years. She also collaborates with IE as a mentor and jury in entrepreneurship projects. She will participate in CETT Smart Tourism Congress Barcelona to discuss female leadership.
What defines good leadership?
In my opinion, the attributes of a good leader have to do with being of service to others. The best leaders are those whose team would choose if they had the choice. They are loved, admired, and respected by the people they lead. They develop their teams to their full potential. In an environment where the only sure thing is change, leaders should have a vision, a strategic mindset, the ability to innovate and adapt, and the ability to tolerate ambiguity. However, what is truly important in leaders is their personal qualities and people management competencies. In terms of personal attributes, I would highlight authenticity and courage. The best leaders have a high level of self-knowledge, know their values, rules, and limits regardless of the circumstances, and lead by example and integrity. The same things they demand of their teams they demand of themselves.
Any other qualities?
True leaders put their time and knowledge at the service of others. They work hand in hand with their teams to get to know them better and motivate them. They have empathy and care about the professional development of the people they are in charge of. They do not control their teams and inspire them to do great things. They understand that their teams cannot grow or progress if they are not given the freedom to make their own decisions and learn from their successes and mistakes within a framework that they define through communication. As a result, their teams respect and admire them, influencing their team from that trust.
Is good female leadership different from good male leadership?
A good leader is like a good orchestra conductor, able to make each team member shine when it is their moment and make the whole shine more than each one individually. A good or bad leader depends on a person's motivations, qualities, and competencies. Of course, men and women have different sensitivities, but the important thing in good leadership is that the orchestra sounds good.
Is there bad female leadership?
Good leadership does not depend on gender. There are good male and female leaders. Consequently, there is also bad female leadership.
What advice would you give to a woman aspiring to leadership positions?
Given that women are still under-represented in management positions, those who reach such positions have an enormous responsibility. In addition to their commitment to their teams and company, they have a commitment to society to be a good example to other women. My advice would be that they should never stop learning, never stop growing, and never stop pursuing excellence, and from authenticity, they should be able to project their best version.
Entrepreneurship and leadership
You have more than 15 years of experience, eight as a strategic consultant and the last seven focused on entrepreneurship. Does entrepreneurship require exceptional leadership?
If the entrepreneur's profile is different, his or her leadership will also be different, understanding that it is based on the person's motivations, traits, and competencies. To analyse the entrepreneur's profile, I will use some findings from the study done by my friend and former colleague at Korn Ferry, Julio Moreno. I invite you to read the study because it is fascinating. It lays some pedagogical foundations that should be followed to reinforce the development of this profile in teaching or family environments. The entrepreneur is shown as an action-oriented person who passionately pursues his or her dreams, less prone to paralysis by analysis. In everyday situations, without a high-stress level, the entrepreneur tends to relate to others easily. They have a relational rather than a transactional profile. However, if stress increases, the entrepreneur focuses and moves towards the goal with determination.
What about motivations?
In terms of motivations, the primary motivation for entrepreneurship is the search for independence and the passion for change, beyond the commitment to lifelong learning and the search for responsibility, influence, and position. Of course, these last two motivations influence the entrepreneur, but the one that stands out from the rest is the quest for independence.
As for emotional competencies?
These include a high level of confidence, not only in themselves and their abilities but also in the certainty that the challenges and difficulties will be solved along the way. In short, they are interested in playing roles in which overcoming obstacles is a constant. Understanding these characteristics, they will generally be leaders who transmit passion for their work, pursue a purpose, and do not stop in the face of difficulties. Leaders who make decisions with agility and confidence are committed to their decisions. Leaders begin to lose motivation when they see that their independence is at stake.