Today our leadership article comes from Craig Groeschel, who is the Senior Pastor of Life Church, a best-selling author, and leadership expert.
BECOMING A LEADER PEOPLE LOVE TO FOLLOW — LIVE FROM GLOBAL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT
As a leader, you may want to improve in finances or in technology. But many employees say that the main areas in which their leaders can improve are leadership and emotional intelligence.
- Leadership answers “Where are you taking me?”
- Emotional Intelligence answers, “How are you treating me?”
The difference between what a boss might want to improve and what an employee wishes the boss would improve highlight different motives. To be a leader people love to follow, we need to care about people over profits.
It’s important to note, a leader’s goal shouldn’t be to be loved. But, a leader can strive to be a leader people love to follow.
You may be popular if you are respected, but you will never be respected if you are only trying to be popular.
When a team serves a great and trusting leader:
- They feel valued.
- They feel inspired.
- They feel empowered.
So as leaders, we need to focus on these qualities to become a leader people love to follow:
- A heart to care. You will never be a leader others love to follow if you aren’t a leader who loves people. A practical way to demonstrate that you love your team and the people you work with is to exercise these four words: I notice. You matter.
Be more observant, walk around the office, ask questions. When you see something great happening or you see a team member in pain, let them know you notice. Then, follow up with a way to show “There’s a big difference between a leader who is popular and one who is respected.” —Craig Groeschel “You will never be a leader others love to follow if you aren’t a leader who loves people.” —Craig Groeschel them they matter. Let them know the effort they’re putting in matters to you and to the organization.
The number one reason people leave companies is because they feel undervalued. So, exercise this way of valuing your team: Appreciate more than you think you should. Then double it. Never rob your team members of the blessing of knowing that you notice and you care. It’s the difference between me-centered leadership and you-centered leadership. Some leaders will make you think that THEY are important. The best leaders will help you see that YOU are important.
- A passion to inspire. Inspiring people is different than motivating them. Motivation may be urging people to do something they don’t necessarily want to do. Inspiration is more about pulling out the best of what’s in your employees.
Being an inspiring leader doesn’t always mean giving impassioned speeches. Being optimistic, having a posture of humility, setting a clear vision, consistently follow through, being empathetic—these are all inspiring to the people around you. One stand-out quality of inspiring leaders is centeredness.
A centered leader is confident, stable, fully-engaged, driven by purpose, obsessed by the mission, and fully-aligned with their values.
To learn more about “centeredness,” research the Bain Inspirational Leadership Model and listen to this episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast: https://go2.lc/centered
- Willingness to empower. The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not through command and control. If you think you need to control everything, you are the one getting in the way of progress.
Delegation is not demanding coffee; a leader needs to learn not to just delegate tasks. That only creates followers. Instead, delegate authority. When you delegate authority, freedom, and decision making power, you create owners.
Rule of thumb: as a leader, make the decisions that only you can make. Delegate the rest. Empower your team by telling them: You decide.
If all the decision-making power is locked up in the top layers of leadership, you won’t be able to scale or adapt or grow quickly.
- Courage to be real, humble, and vulnerable. Leadership is not about power, authority, or pride. Your posture as a leader should be the first thing you work on—be authentic and vulnerable, be understanding and kind, expect a lot, and work hard.