Leadership is a highly nebulous word. Often a leader is defined as the one in front, or the one with the biggest office and largest paycheck.
Others define a leader as the one galvanizing the team to make seemingly impossible changes.
And still others say leadership is seen in those who may not have the title or paycheck, but move among their colleagues to create a spirit of togetherness and generate a foundation of trust.
All can be true.
The deciding factor is the intent of the leader and intent is on display in how much the leader gives.
It has been said many times and in many ways that caring for employees will in turn care for the organization. When people feel as though they matter to their boss and organization, productivity improves and engagement increases.
Therefore, the best leaders seek ways to care for their people.
How does an authentic leader care for their people? They seek to be with.
To be with means creating opportunities to learn about and understand each person well enough to know what they desire in their job, and even their life in general. As the relationship grows, the desire for the other person to do well grows.
Because the desire exists (and hopefully grows) for your people to do well, when something is needed you do what you can to help fill the need.
In short, you give.
Giving does not come naturally to most of us, especially when we have been elevated to positions of leadership. It takes time and intentionality.
The good news is it’s possible to learn!
Authentic leaders seek to care for their people through the following steps:
Seek to know the person
Understand their wants and desires
Identify gaps in where they are and where they want to be
Figure out how you can assist in closing the gaps
Do it again
This cycle represents selflessness. It represents love.
To truly be with is to love. To love is to give.
The best leaders give.