- Love them. No, not the woo-woo stuff. Rarely is that accepted in the workplace. Go deeper. Saint Augustine said these words: “Love is seeking the highest good for the other.” Leadership is love. Again, not the typical Hollywood-drama, music swells, gushy, emotional kind of stuff we normally think of. Leadership is simply seeking the highest good for those you lead. With each employee or team member, ask the question, “What is the highest good for this person?”
- Empower them. To empower someone means to hand over power to someone else. Not all the power…but definitely the power in the area for which they are responsible. Which means giving up your own need for control. Empowerment and micromanagement cannot happen in concert with one another. Sure, there are structures and systems that must be followed within any organization. However, within that structure and system, give freedom and empowerment. Watch what happens when you do.
- Understand them. This is so important when leading others. When your people believe you understand them, they believe you have their best interest at heart. There is the great saying by Stephen Covey, “Seek first to understand and then be understood.” Often, as leaders, we want our people to understand us and where we are coming…our point of view. We revert to the mindset that says, “These people are here to do my bidding. They work for me.” We see Human Resources when we should see Human Capital. Understanding our people – their perspective, their expertise, their hopes, their ambitions – is foundational for leading a team.
Care about your people first and watch what they will do for you.