The Make-up of a Great Leader


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Knoll Evangelista, director of the EMS Components and Group Operations of Laguna, Philippines-based electronics manufacturing services firm EMS Components Assembly Inc., speaks with SMT Magazine about leadership, motivation, and how great leaders navigate the challenges to bring their companies to success.

Stephen Las Marias: What makes a great leader?

Knoll Evangelista: A great leader is someone who embraces technology and innovation, a game changer, a benevolent disruptor, and has the passion to make things happen. A great leader is a composite of a person that gets an organization to work on an objective, and gets to deliver results and achieve the desired outcomes. He has the capability to change, lead, and discover new ideas of an organization that works.

Las Marias: What can you say about the changing roles of the leader in this industry?

Evangelista: Technology has been the mainstream driving economy of a country. In the electronics industry, once a technology is discovered, consider it obsolete; if you will not develop new technology, somebody else will. This is how fast the industry changes. Getting ahead and the niche of the market will drive growth and sustainability. Leaders with vision that embrace technology with readiness to future capabilities will always succeed.

Las Marias: What is the difference between being a leader and a manager?

Evangelista: We need more leaders than managers. Leaders see things at 60,000 feet and are always there ahead. A leader looks forward to innovate, adopts changes and makes things work while a manager focuses on day-to-day activity. Leaders are strategists while managers execute. Leaders deal with strategic issues while managers deal with the tactical ones. Leaders formulate strategies for growth and sustainability and have a wide vision of the horizon for what the future will be, while managers execute to achieve goals and objectives.

Las Marias: How do you know you’re an effective leader?

Evangelista: If you are a game changer, always ahead of others, leading people to the next level, achieving common goals, and collectively contributing to make things happen.

Effective leaders are not saddled on the status quo. There is a consistent effort to innovate, improve and discover new frontiers. They are not afraid to chart territories and engage in new discoveries. These traits are in the DNA of an effective leader.

Las Marias: What is the best strategy for leading millennials?

Evangelista: The younger generation is made up of enthusiasts who understand how technology works for them, and are hungry to discover new things and passionate about achieving results. You can lead them by cultivating their ideas and converting their skills and talents into work. Millennials are known to be highly mobile, confident, articulate, and brave. These characteristics blend well in an organization that always seeks innovation and improvement.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the October 2016 issue of SMT Magazine, click here.

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