An excerpt from the book Unlock Your Leadership Greatness which speaks to the key principles in developing relationships that lead to higher levels of performance for personal and team excellence.
Leaders don’t like to use the language of love when speaking about their constituents. However, caring for their people can enable them to obtain outrageous output from people who will joyfully capitalize on opportunities and achieve better results. Seven Acts of love can generate power by demonstrating compassion for those responsible for making the leader look good.
- Leaders want you to develop and deliver your best work
- Leaders want you to be interchangeably self sufficient and interdependent as needed to achieve your goals
- Leaders will praise you when you excel and instruct you when necessary
- Leaders will admonish you when you are wrong and astonish you with service and generosity
- If you leave for greater opportunities, leaders will encourage your journey, admire your risk taking and wish you success
- Leaders will continuously invest in themselves, so that they will have more to give to you
- Leaders will connect you to a cause bigger than yourself
Act l – Leaders want you to develop and deliver your best work
Leaders who care about their people want them to reach their potential in a role that best suits their talents. They provide opportunities to gain experience in assignments that stimulate personal growth. These assignments are chosen to stretch their employees by extending their spectrum of skills.Leaders are not satisfied if their followers are performing below their abilities. Leaders take it personally. If they can’t extract the desired effort from their team, they feel responsible, because they are accountable.
Act ll – Leaders want you to be interchangeably self sufficient and interdependent, as needed to achieve your goals
The role of the leader is to teach their people to fish, but also to fish in community. They want them to acquire the skills and knowledge to learn how to function on their own. A manager cannot stand over their people’s shoulders at all times monitoring their behavior. Leaders have to trust their people, but trust is based on a track record of success. This is accomplished through instruction and inspection. A crucial expectation is for people to work in teams, because the results are superior when a group puts their brains and brawn together to tackle the problems of the workplace. Most assignments require interacting with co-workers, customers and classmates. Knowing when to work in isolation and how to work in a team is a notable competency.
Act lll – Leaders will praise you when you excel and instruct you when necessary
People respond favorably to praise. They want their effort to be appreciated, but their effort must achieve a satisfactory result. A leader who loves and cares for their people wants them to know that they are valued members of the team. Additionally, the leader knows it is their responsibility to intervene when feedback is required. A leader who cares about their people wants them to have the benefit of expert instruction and a realistic assessment of their performance. The feedback and instruction must be delivered in a timely manner. Timeliness refers to instant correction when mistakes are made and frequent evaluations of progress, rather than waiting for an annual performance review.Individuals who feel their leadership is committed to them will reciprocate by giving their highest level of engagement. Leaders are aware of the phenomenal results from a team of highly engaged individuals.
Act lV – Leaders will admonish you when you are wrong and astonish you with service and generosity
A leader who cares for their people will institute disciple for behavior that violates policies or standards of excellence. People are aware of expectations and consequences, which are administered fairly to all employees. John Stout, a British theologian said “Love without truth is too soft; Truth without love is too harsh; our objective is to speak the truth in love”. A leader must have the emotional strength to deliver tough information, especially in the name of achieving excellence.The leader must intermittently astonish their people with generosity. This can be in the form of compliments for excellent behavior or random acts of praise, favors and material gifts.
Act V – If you leave for greater opportunities, leaders will encourage your journey, admire your risk taking and wish you success
Invariably, a leader will lose members of their team to other organizations or departments. The initial emotional response borders on anger, disappointment and betrayal. They gave time, effort and resources to help them grow; now they show their appreciation by changing roles. These emotions are natural; however, if the leader ever cared for the person, their feelings should not have been contingent upon them staying with them forever. If they are an expert leader and developer of people, at some point they will not have enough opportunities to satisfy everyone needs for promotional growth. Leaders should be content with seeding the marketplace with excellence guided by their hands. By releasing them they may be able to return someday or offer opportunities to others. A leader should want only the best for those who serve them well, with a history of very high performance.
Act Vl – Leaders will continuously invest in themselves, so that they will have more to give to you
I relocated seven times during my professional working career. These were excellent opportunities for acquiring additional skills and personal growth. Our children were perennially the new kids on the block, but they gained new skills. For example, we exposed our children to travelling, sports and musical instruments. The experiences allowed them to discuss many subjects and play multiple sports and instruments. I also benefited from the moves. I cultivated new aptitude, gained insight into many different jobs which made me more valuable. As I poured new skills into myself I was able to be a greater resource to my people. To speak firsthand about job assignments, relocations and the adjustments needed to be successful in today’s corporate environment was an advantage to my people.
Act Vll – Leaders will connect you to a cause bigger than yourself One of the yearnings of the heart is to be a part of something greater than self. A leader who can link individuals to such a cause or vision will be highly respected. People will be energized to wake up each morning knowing that they make a difference. When direct reports realize they are connected to something that makes the world a better place, it elevates their spirit and sense of purpose. Self actualization is achieved when each person is working at their optimum capacity. When a leader cares, followers will go the extra distance to make everyone successful.
Copyright © 2011 Orlando Ceaser