Life is better than death. Love; greater than either…

People Don’t Care How Much You Know
6 July, 2008, 1:58 am
Filed under: Leadership, RanDom, Thoughts

Until they know how much you care…

Being a leader at my workplace means dealing with a lot of people from a whole array of backgrounds, cultures, IQ levels, commitment and motivation. When I say leader here I mean as in if anything goes wrong, I’m it. Therefore, the amount of leadership portrayed, perceived and understood has very real consequences (e.g. unemployed vs. employed).

Maybe we can start with what leadership is not to me:-
1. Leadership is not bossy.
2. Leadership does not mean you are always right.
3. Leadership is not forced onto others.
4. Leadership is not rude.

I’m sure most of us would have encountered an over-eager, smart-alec, force it down our throat ‘leader’ in some point of our lives. How does that encounter leave us? Extremely confident, eager to change and in awe of this ‘leader’ and his/her wisdom? Heck no! Quite the opposite isn’t it? It leaves us looking stupid, resistant to change and resentful of this so-called ‘leader’.

How about this? A person who takes time out to listen to you, know where you’re coming from, takes time to assess your strengths (and at the same time, your weaknesses), gives you direction you want to hear and lets himself/herself slowly into your world?

To me that’s how all relationships should start. And if you being a leader bypass this crucial step, the relationship is destined to fail. The phrase ‘people don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care’ is so true isn’t it? I certainly operate on this phrase on an interpersonal level. On a bigger level as well, don’t people usually vote for the leader which take time out to care for the community, listen and want to change things which are relevant to the individual?

Giving feedback
Of course leadership always paves the way for feedback (both positive and negative). No sane, prideful human being wants to hear that they are doing something wrong. You need to let them know slowly. What I usually do is comment on something really really good that they’re doing (totally unrelated to the wrong thing) and then suggest a better technique to which to execute the wrong action. This of course requires action from your part while clearly communicating what is going on. Finish the feedback off with how this correct technique benefits the person involved and other people. I find that usually when you communicate how them doing the right thing benefits EVERYBODY else, they would want to do something about it.

Even if at first it doesn’t seem to sink in; its OK. Rome wasn’t built in one night. An encouraging word goes a long way in softening a heart to feedback and at the end of the day, if your reason was good enough, they will see the ‘light’.

And I think lastly, true, genuine leadership is always about other people. Not the “let me manage my people well so I get a promotion” mentality but rather “let me manage my people well so that they are happier and learn more in the process” kinda mentality. I seriously think that as leaders take care of others, they themselves will be taken care of.

Having said all this of course, I realize its not a perfect world. Its a dog-eat-dog world out there as they call it but I’m encouraging you that if you find yourself in a position of leadership and you are not changing anything; maybe, just may be, these few key-steps can give a little boost to your ‘leadership’.

God bless!


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