Álvaro Cárcel, Partner.
Unfortunately, it is an increasingly visible reality. It is worrying to see how the level of "referent" people in society has been degraded.
In the past - not too distant -, there was a certain consensus in defining some people as "references" by their values, ways of acting, or the type of messages they launched. They were easily identifiable in politics, in culture, in sports, and also in the business world.
Today, although there are, of course, still people of reference, they have lost visibility. In other words, society does not give them the value they used to have. The world of politics is a clear example: the level has not stopped dropping in recent years, to the point where it has degraded to such an extent today that it is difficult to locate political references (regardless of color). We are in a moment where it seems that the referents are influencers, tiktokers, streamers, and singers who do not know how to sing without autotune All respect to them, but they should not be referents.
Logically, what is or is not a referent is subjective and there is no full consensus on it. But I also think that a large majority could agree on a few common characteristics of a "referent", for example:
- Rectitude in values.
- Keep your word.
- Say what you think and think what you say.
- Assume mistakes, with humility.
- Create a common and shared vision.
- Send positive and constructive messages.
- Make decisions and do not omission power in situations where it is necessary.
- Vocation of service and to make its environment grow.
The above are visible and concrete behaviors, and whose main consequence is that they generate positive learning in people. And positive learning in turn generates the right environment to grow as individuals and professionals. And in turn, that is precisely the breeding ground for a promising business future.
In organizations, teams must be able to look up and see references. And that is why organizations have the duty to help and push people in leadership positions to become role models and be a compass for their teams.