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Leadership Is Not The Same As Telling Other People What To Do

Source | | Sally Percy

Marcelino Elosua left his job as CEO of Spanish olive oil producer Carbonell to set up LID Publishing in 1993. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the business book publisher has produced titles with over 2,500 authors and employs 75 staff in seven different countries. Here Elosua shares his thoughts on the past, present and future of leadership.

Sally Percy: How has the thinking around leadership changed in the past 25 years?

Marcelino Elosua: “I believe that leadership has changed with society. There used to be a top-down approach where the leader was always right. Now it’s more of a team approach where the leader empowers others. Also, companies don’t just rely on employees anymore; they increasingly use freelancers and partners as well. So leaders have to make sure that all these different parties are pulling together. Ultimately, I think it’s up to each of us, at our own level, to manage the situations for which we are responsible, which is not the same as telling others what to do.”

Percy: Do you think leaders are more or less influential today compared with 25 years ago?

Elosua: “Before there were fewer organizations so there were fewer leaders. Since there were only a few of them, they had loud voices and they could issue orders, but they had less ability to influence because they could only access a few communication channels. Today there are many more leaders because there are more organizations and leaders at all levels within them. Leaders also have a greater ability to influence through their personal and social networks.”

Percy: How have you personally changed as a leader over that time?

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