She wakes up every morning between 0600 and 0630 in her modest apartment.

After checking the news, she prepares breakfast for her and her husband around 0800.

At 0900 she heads to the office where she meets with her team and discusses the main agenda items for the day.

Meetings kick off around 0930 and as chair, she invites her diverse team to engage in a calm and fact-based discussion, taking the role of the moderator.

Next, she attends a working lunch, followed by more meetings with internal and external stakeholders.

Most of her afternoon is spent preparing for her next appointments, and working on some presentations.

She returns home around 2200 and is in bed by midnight.

For leading the 4th biggest economy in the world, Angela Merkel lives an unremarkable life.

Unlike most of the world political leaders, there is little excitement or controversy about her, let alone scandals.

Despite her reputation as the most competent head of state of recent times, and as the defacto leader of the European Union, there will probably be no movies made about Merkel who by 2017 had been elected Germany’s Chancellor 4 consecutive times.

Like Merkel, the most effective business leaders in the world are not exactly known for their charisma.

We have trouble paying attention to less charismatic leaders or even remembering them, precisely because they are so discreet.

We often tend to focus on the bling leaders, the ones on the media a lot, the ones who are always on the news or in magazines.

It is much easier for us to focus on and remember the super loud leaders who excel at well drawing attention to themselves.

Jim Collins provides conclusive evidence in support of this argument in his book Good to Great. He carefully looked at characteristics of CEOs in companies that outperformed their rivals.

His analysis showed that the most effective CEOs were not charismatic but were very persistent and humble.

They excelled not by self-promotion but at nurturing talent in their teams.

Instead of aspiring to be the possible second career as standup comedians, or reality TV stars, these effective leaders worked to make other people shine and especially to get people working together as a high performing team.

Just google humble leaders and there is a chance that you will not recognise most of these leaders, but you have to know them.

As she bows out of politics, Angela Merkel will be remembered as the most effective and competent leader.

She did not need charisma to be effective. She just focused on the job that matters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s