Leadership is all about your team. Leading has so many moving parts to it. You not only are leading projects but people. I have found that many times, leaders lead projects without considering that people do the work. They forget to spend one-on-one time with their team to develop relationships which in turn helps move projects forward with more success. The leader who puts people first then projects seems to have more success with the overall team. When I go into a department, I always look at the team of leaders in the department. I can very quickly see if they are a leader of people or projects. For me, the best success I have in leading teams is to be a leader of both people and projects.
I lead people first. I think as a leader we are counselors as well. We lead people with emotions and they need to be heard and encouraged. I know that if I can help the people lead themselves better then I am setting them up for huge success. I have never gone wrong leading this way. My goal as I lead people is to help them move forward and become better people as they lead and work.
If you want your team to do an average job, then you leave out the connecting part and just expect them to do the job without much emotion from their leaders. They will do their job because they have to. But if you put your heart into being a leader and maybe even become a little vulnerable, letting your team see that you are real and you make mistakes too, you will see a team that puts every ounce of effort into what they do. They will live and feel their job in a powerful way that brings much success.
I had a great mentor that I got to watch in action accomplish this. Even after 10 years of his death, people still talk about how he made them feel when he was around them. It was amazing to watch how he cared about his employees. He took up time and sat down with them giving them his full and undivided attention. He genuinely wanted to know how his staff were doing with their job and with their family. He probably did not have time to spend with each person, but he did it anyway. He knew the power of connection.
I have since spoken with these people about their previous leader, my mentor, and they told me they would go to the moon for him. They said they were committed to him and stuck with him through thick and thin. They took up for him and believed in his vision when it was not popular. They also mentioned, that no one has even matched his leadership because he truly cared and they knew it.
Don’t you want to be that type of leader? Are you that kind of leader now?
Aspire to be a leader that leads to connect and be remembered. You will shape lives and help more than you will ever know.
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