Alexandre Aschenbach

Leaders know how to add


By analyzing people we identify their talents, abilities, qualities, potentials and individual defects.

This is important because in people interaction each individual brings those features individually and the result of adding those individual features, contrary to what one might think, is not simply the sum of all these factors.

There are two forms this sum can happen: individually potentiated or potentiated in the group. It depends on how the interaction between the group members occurs.

When the interaction between group members is positive, the result is the empowerment of the individual characteristics collectively. A participant of a group in positive interaction ultimately accrue other members factors and also offers its qualities to others. The individual uses other members characteristics to compensate or to complement its own characteristics, thus growing individually. The group benefits as a whole, once the tendency is that the positive factors appear naturally and negative factors are automatically canceled or reduced.

When the interaction between group members is negative, on the other hand, there is only an individual enhancement and ultimately reflects in the group. A member of a group in negative interaction ends up denying other members individual characteristics and hiding their own positive characteristics. That's because denial is the reflection individual satisfaction pursuit. The group does not benefit as a whole and negative characteristics tend to arise and get more effect and individually potentiated.

So the sum is always different, ie, 1 + 1 will always be greater or less than 2. When we add two individuals talents in a good interaction cycle, through knowledge and behavior absorption, both tend to grow, improve and, therefore, each individual adds more than just the 1. The same happens in a difficult group interaction because individual problems tend to grow and every individual will withdraw something from the sum, offering an increasingly lower result.

This has to do with emotional intelligence and maturity of the individuals in the group.

Here comes the quality, maturity and experience of the leader. The leader must be able to identify the characteristics of each group member and then assist them in order to get a positive interaction between them.


The interaction between group members should be prepared and monitored, before the group set its own interaction rules by itself. This is a risk that the leader should not run.

Negative interactions occur mainly by jealousy, fear or envy.

Those are common feelings and arise through the influence of environment and leadership. Even though those are feelings that may be naturally present in an individual, when the interactions are controlled from the beginning and leadership can minimize the negative influences of the environment, those feelings can be minimized or even eliminated from group members (at least within the group) .

There are, for sure, the famous "bad apples" who can work unlike desired. The first task of a leader is to get them away and, if possible, eliminate such elements, based on the premise that the common benefits are more important than the individual benefit. If it is not possible to do this, the leader must control those elements, but this is a topic for another article.

So the great secret is not to join exceptional talents to get collective work done, but join talents who are able to interact positively by their own initiative and individual motivation. The leader has the responsibility for influencing group members in their behaviors and reactions, as always.

A good leader understands the influences of the environment and the individuals, and is able to capture all the negative or positive potential present in the subordinates. With this data, a good leader knows how to do the sum in order to obtain greater results.

Good leaders know how to add!