The principle, “To be a truly great leader, we must stand with our people, not above them”, is one that I truly believe in. This article by John Keyser at Common Sense Leadership discusses how leaders today seem to be spending time in endless meetings or in continual conversations on their smart phones and have forgotten what it means to lead their business/team. We should all stop and try to remember what it means to be a leader and how we can get the best out of our people.
Being a leader means being connected to your people and making them feel appreciated and valued. Asking them how they are going, what they are working on and how that is going are just three simple questions leaders can use to connect to their people. Take the time to tell your people that you appreciate them and their efforts and watch the uplift in morale and outcomes. The need to feel appreciated and valued is innate to human nature, and your people are no exception to this rule. Just by showing them that you genuinely value their efforts, opinions and judgement can make a world of difference to their productivity and feeling of purpose within the business/team.
By having meaning connections and conversations with your people, by asking them for their ideas and listening to them you start to build trusting relationships that lead to a culture where feedback is part of the operating rhythm - not just an annual event. Imagine a business where the leaders can ask their people for feedback on how they are going as a leader and how they can improve the business – that is continuous improvement at its very best.
So in short, to be a truly effective leader, you need to connect with your people by having meaningful conversations and asking them for their advice and guidance. Give it a try – it is amazing.