How Do You Truly Know Someone Was Made to Be a Leader? Look for 1 Rare Sign

How Do You Truly Know Someone Was Made to Be a Leader? Look for 1 Rare Sign

What if we could reinvent the definition of a true leader? We would start here.

By Marcel SchwantesFounder and Chief Human Officer, Leadership From the Core

In my research and work over the last two decades as an executive coach and  organizational consultant, I have combed the planet gathering evidence by talking to the world's top CEOs, thought-leaders, authors, and psychologists to crack the code on what makes a truly exceptional leader and what great leaders do to develop a great company culture.
Historically, and still true today, as we look at what the workplace has become, most organizations see people as objects or a means to an end in a transaction. 
If that's how we are going to continue to treat each other--as a transaction and a means to an end, like all you're worth to me, is to give me something I need to get my work done-- you can bet that our interaction will ultimately suffer long-term.

The rare sign of an exceptional 21st Century leader

What if I, as a leader or manager, chose to treat you, the employee, with respect and empathy, and saw you as a real person with real needs as important as my own?
If I'm in that frame of mind as a leader, the dynamic in the workplace is going to be radically different, whether you're the founder of a 5-person startup or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
As a leader, you have an enormous responsibility to take care of people. Remember this: whoever you're in charge of now is somebody's daughter or son, it's someone's spouse or partner. And each is relying on you for guidance and support--to be taken care of. 
In short, the rarest of qualities an exceptional leader possesses today? It's treating another person as a valued human being.
In truly human workplaces--those companies that are also profitable and making a mark in their industries, human leaders show up at every level of the organizational chart.
Being a truly human leader--the way the people around you need you to be so they can excel in their work--runs counter to fear, control, micromanagement, incivility, and self-centeredness
Being truly human and caring for others defines the culture from the top down, and raises the employee experience to new heights, which then carries over to a great and positive customer experience. 
At first thought, this idea sounds fluffy and off-putting from a business and organizational standpoint. But we're finding that when you express your leadership humanity through care, belonging, respect, and "love in action"--the verb, not the squishy feeling--it makes a stunning difference in how employees feel about work:
  • It raises their performance;
  • it improves employee engagement;
  • it increases value and loyalty across the organization;
  • it makes people arrive home at the end of the day and tell their loved ones, "I love my job and I can't wait to be back tomorrow." 


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