Leaders in Business: Carlos Ghosn, CEO Nissan

The Wall Street Journal posted a great article about Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan, as he prepares for his retirement April 1. This quick 2-minute interview revealed some tangible qualities that high-functioning leaders possess. 

1. Leaders are teachers

Carlos said if he had not joined the car business, he would have been a teacher. This passion for teaching has undoubtedly played a roll throughout his career. Now to be a great leader, your second career choice doesn't have to be a teacher, but you must possess an authentic desire to help others achieve their goals in order to be effective as a leader. 

2. Leaders learn to control their emotions

There is a point in this interview where Carlos is asked: "After 18 years of Nissan, what is the one thing you've learned never to do as CEO?" Carlos responds, "Never get angry." The interviewer continues, "...and what is the one thing you've learned always to do?" Carlos says, "Be very patient."

This response is interesting because both comments have nothing to do with the technical nature of running a business, such as "make sure the budget balances" or "invest in new technologies". Carlos has learned that as a leader, he must control his emotions. While there is definitely technical skill involved in being a CEO, the fundamental aspects of leadership have to do with how you treat others.

3. Leaders value relationships

Carlos says that if there was one bumper sticker he would put on the back of his car, it would read: "Proud Dad". Carlos clearly values the relationship that he has with his daughter (who is mentioned later in the article), he understands that leaders are leaders as much in their personal life as they are in their professional life. 

If you'd like to start investing in your own leadership skills, start off by taking our free personality test to better understand yourself and others.