Motivator: ‘Cultivating virtuous leadership is good for business’
A leader is someone that achieves greatness by bringing out greatness in others. A business headed by a virtuous leader will thrive as all employees thrive as well. A virtuous leader helps employees grow, thus contributing to that business’ success and long-term survival.
Those are some of the insights that author and Virtuous Leadership Model founder Alexandre Havard shared during a special event sponsored by Liberty Business for leaders of Puerto Rico’s business community.
Havard visited Puerto Rico for the first time to present his lecture “Virtuous Leadership: A Guide to Achieve Personal Excellence,” in which he discussed the importance of virtues as the foundation to achieve a successful business strategy.
“Leaders grow when they help others grow. We are all called to grow ourselves and help others grow,” Havard said. “To become a leader, you have to think about people because they are the most important aspect of the business. A manager makes things move, but a leader makes people move.”
He said leaders are not necessarily people who occupy positions of power such as company heads and heads of state.
“People in power are not necessarily leaders. They have power for themselves or to exert influence. Leadership is not a professional position. It’s a moral activity,” he said.
Two core concepts that form the foundation of Havard’s virtuous leadership model are humility and magnanimity. Humility, Havard explained, is about serving others, and empowering them, while magnanimity is about discovering greatness in oneself and others.
“It’s not enough to talk about it, it’s also important to take action, make good decisions that will have a positive impact in the community and our island,” said Antonio Llona, vice president of Liberty Business during the conference. “You have to dream that you can do things differently and think that you can change things.”
Havard said business leaders who practice humility are closer to their employees, thus creating inclusion and engagement, making employees feel like they belong in the company. They also listen to their employees, which allows the information to flow from the bottom of the company all the way up to the top.
He added that young entrepreneurs and professionals who are starting out should pay more attention to the people that they will work with rather than the company itself.
“It’s not about the company but the people with whom they will work, who will be their bosses, and if they are true leaders. They should choose well,” Havard said.
Havard created the Virtuous Leadership Model, which promotes a philosophy that states that leadership and virtue are synonyms and that great leaders are the ones who live by the virtues of prudence, courage, self-control, justice, magnanimity, and humility.
Born and raised in Paris, Havard graduated from Descartes University in Paris and worked as a lawyer in Europe for many years before discovering his mission of motivating people to aim for nobility and generosity.
He cofounded several virtuous leadership institutes throughout the entire world, including Paris, Washington, Brussels, Moscow, and Beirut.