Looking back over your career, there were leaders that you enjoyed work for and some that you did not. What were the differences between those two groups of people? I can share from my own experience, that there were 4 things that made a difference:
- Did they actually take the time to connect with me?
- Did they care about my development?
- Did they support me when things went well and when they didn’t?
- Did they give me the chance to gain exposure and try new things?
Do these same questions define the differences for your experiences also? I have realized now that time has passed, that many of those people that didn’t do as well probably shouldn’t have been leaders. They were not strong at really connecting with people. They wanted to climb the ladder, but that meant leading a team which they probably didn’t really want to do. I would imagine they had a lot of inner conflict at having to do something that they really were not passionate about. The team and everyone else around them could see it and feel it. Working under someone like that takes the motivation, engagement and excitement of going to work every day away from the individual employees and the team.
Leading takes time and energy to do it well. It means tapping into your emotional intelligence and leveraging it each and every day. In this article called the “5 Qualities of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders” by Joel Garfinkle, he highlights that these qualities inspire people to want to work for you and do great work. The 5 qualities are being: empathetic, self-aware, positive, considerate and authentic. In the simplest of terms, it is connecting with people, caring about what is important to them and being true to yourself. Are these the qualities that you are practicing as part of your leadership? If not, the article offers some great ideas on how to put these into action.
Leading by definition means that you have people who want to follow you. You have a choice to make in how you want to lead. Just think about your interactions with people and how you are connecting with them. Are you inspiring and motivating them to do their best? If not, this could be an area of focus for you in 2018. Becoming this type of leader isn’t something that you do once in awhile. You need to be living these qualities of connection and emotional intelligence every day to really make a difference in your leadership and for your team.
Coaching is a great way to ensure that you are making these changes faster. My clients are incorporating these shifts and seeing the impacts in their leadership. If you want my support to help you move your leadership to the next level, just let me know!