As the Leader… How Do You Go?







I love the word Liderazgo. Not because I’m the type of guy who rushes out to buy every new Tom Peters book – the subject of leadership has no shortage of literature devoted to it. It’s the practice of leadership that’s always long on demand, short on supply.


OK... I do try to read all things Tomás Pedros.


I love the word Liderazgo because in translation, it explains the essence of what it is, of what it means to lead.


I see: Liderazgo

I hear: As the Leader goes.


That’s what leadership is – good, bad or otherwise. As the Leader Goes… so do the followers.


While one of my 2012 Resoluciones is to use fewer sports anecdotes to illustrate a point, after watching the 49ers beat the Saints this past weekend in dramatic fashion…. I gotta do it.


El Agarre



Let me preface this particular sporting anecdote by saying I’m not a Jim Harbaugh fan. I don’t like his alma mater (as a University of Illinois alum, there isn’t much to like about Ann Arbor or her ill-behaved children), I don’t like his performance in his 7 years as a Chicago Bear, and I don’t like the way he shakes hands after winning a close game.




But it’s hard not to like his leadership skills. With largely the same team that bumbled to a 6-10 season in 2010, Harbaugh arrived, changed the culture, and increased the intensity. The Niners went 13-3 this year and won the division. Now they are one game away from the Super Bowl. The difference? Liderazgo.


Harbaugh engineered similar turnarounds at the University of San Diego (Los Toreros!) where he won 11 games in back-to-back years (really?) and then at Stanford which went 12-1 in his final season there.


Say what you want about the ole Hairball, but he’s got leadership skills. His teams go as the Leader goes.


We’ve all been around leaders that said one thing and then did another. After all, there is good leadership and bad leadership. When in doubt, think about Liderazgo. As the Leader Goes…. so do the followers.



Bradley Hartmann is founder and el presidente at Red Angle (, a Spanish language training firm focused on the construction industry. He likes Tom Peters, Mike Ditka, and Los Toreros de San Diego. His new book, Spanish Twins, will help you lead more effectively on the jobsite through better comunicación.


Available at



Categories: Jobsite Leadership

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