Are You a Leader Who Cares?Tweet
If you had the chance to lift someone... To help them see, create and/or energize their potential - would you take it?
If you answered yes to this question, keep reading.
If you answered no, keep reading anyway.
Because we energize our ‘best’ in many different ways. Sometimes through encouragement. Other times through fear or necessity. And, yes, even through indifference. After all, when no one ‘cares’, we have more freedom to experiment!
Still, for the most part, we do better when we feel that we matter.
In fact, it's a game-changer.
Are you a leader who cares?
A Natural Leader
I saw a funny cartoon on Twitter recently:
It made me chuckle a little. And wince a lot.
Will I see artificially intelligent robots replace leadership in my lifetime? I don’t know. Will we be able to adapt to the upheaval to traditional work and jobs caused by tech advances and disruption? Probably. Yet not likely without some pain.
But I’m not here to argue the merits or likelihood of robots replacing humans anytime soon. I want to focus on the satirical and disparaging comment directed towards leaders. This one:
“robots are natural leaders because they don't care about your feelings.”
It seems to be a fairly universal truism. Engagement is low or lagging. A lot of ink goes to leaders who fail to engage, motivate or energize their teams. Even more goes to what to do about that. Still, we hear few success stories.
I'm tired of it. I DO care. And I care about those who care, too.
Lift As You Climb
If we don't, we deserve to have it wrested away from us. But when we do, when we care enough to care, we can lift others as we climb. It is, after all, our responsibility to do so.
4 Steps to Care-'full' Lift
Are you a leader who cares? If so, here's one way to lift as you climb.
It's a 4-step practice to develop the skill of care-'full' response, encouragement and feedback. It's not a typical "Uh-huh’, I hear you" kind of acknowledgment.
It's person-centred, focused, and purposeful. The intent is active and deliberate enrichment and growth acceleration.
It takes real caring and genuine effort. It is so worth it.
1. Identify the strength or quality you've observed or experienced.
To do this, you have to actually listen, observe, and interact with others. Think about what they do and how they do it, who they are, what they’ve achieved. Ask yourself, "what strengths or qualities does it take to do that?"
You'll need some thoughtful effort and positive discernment in order to focus on strength. Go beyond "good job". Take a moment and give some thought to the other person. Care. Recognize and acknowledge what's gone into their actions and achievement. As a leader, this will also help you leverage your team's potential all the more. After all, you can't leverage what you don't see.
2. -- that you admire or appreciate --
Be genuine. Ensure you admire, appreciate and/or value the strength or quality you intend to relate. Remember, you can't fake sincerity.
3. which they may be unsure or uncertain of
This is where (and how) energizing potential takes place. It's also where effort is ramped up yet another notch. You're not stating the obvious or reiterating an aspect in which they're already self-assured. You are engaging and enabling growth. It's the acid test of true leadership.
Can you help them become 'more'? It's genuine encouragement -- meant literally: to give courage to. Share with them strengths you see and admire that they may not fully 'own' -- yet. Or, qualities they don't realize others see too.
4. in light of their aspirations and the person they wish to become.
This part is individual and person-centred. We simply cannot execute on this step if we know nothing about the other person.
Are you a leader who cares? Think... What are their dreams, hopes, purpose and aspirations? You'll have to invest at least some energy in listening, asking questions, and caring. When you do, you can align the strengths to their desires and interests -- what they want and strive for.
I don't know if a robot can do this. I know many people who could, but don't. But, if we're to truly show leadership, then we must learn. And do. And, do more often.
Are You a Leader Who Cares? -- what real leaders do
Do you believe the following quote captures the essence of real leadership?
If so, then this 4-step process is a critical tool in your toolkit. Here's to your success! And to the success of all those whose lives you touch -- and lift.
Who will you lift today?
Are you a leader who cares? Use this 4-step approach to engage, uplift and make a difference with others.
A version of this post was originally published by Janice Kobelsky on LinkedIn Pulse November 21, 2016
©Janice Kobelsky. Your Meaningful Vision, Fulfilled. Challenged. Empowered. Energized. A better you, for a better world.
Read this story of caring - what it takes, and the difference that it makes.
It reveals a simple, yet priceless, ‘secret’ formula for success and superb leadership.