2020. There are not really words to describe this year. I’ve realized that we are going through a perfect storm of events: a global pandemic, social unrest, the economic fallout of both and then add in a presidential election. This perfect storm is shining a spotlight on leadership. How do you lead in times of uncertainty? How do you ensure that your business AND your people will not only weather this storm, but ideally, come out the other side in an even better position?
I have done a lot of work studying leadership and identifying the characteristics that make for strong, effective leaders. People always need good leaders, but they crave them even more in times like now.
And what makes for a good leader in good times and in times of crisis? I believe in the concept of what I call “Human Leadership”. It’s based on two very simple (but not always easy) tenets. The first is that good leaders know themselves and are true to themselves. It is the opposite of what some people do by trying to change themselves so others will like them. Good leaders don’t need to be liked; they want to be respected for who they are. And to be respected for who you are, you first must know yourself.
The second tenet is that it’s important to know your people, your team and demonstrate that you care as much about them as you do about the business itself. Great success in business is rarely done by leaders alone; it is leaders who build strong teams that create success. Just like you need customers and work to create “customer intimacy”, think of your employees in the same way and work to demonstrate “employee intimacy”.
One of the key components of Human Leadership is the 3P’s: Performance, Passion and Persona. Let’s dig into each of these. Your performance as a leader is obviously critical.
Strong Performance always starts with knowing where you want to go and what you want to achieve. And importantly ensuring everyone else on your team knows these goals and their role in achieving them. But to be a human leader and more importantly a leader that makes an impact on short and long term results AND the people you are leading, it’s the Why and How you lead that also count…for a lot.
Your Passion is your why or your purpose. What is your company’s purpose and what is your personal purpose? People want to follow people who know where they are going and why it’s important to get there. Having a purpose or a “why” draws people to you like moths to a flame.
And your Persona is the way in which you show up. How you build trust. How you ignite passion in others. This starts with knowing yourself and being true to yourself, but it also is about how you relate to others. How you inspire them, build trust among them. Most importantly, it how you bring yourself forward and bring others with you.
Can you answer these questions?
Performance: What do you deliver to the world, to your organization? What are your performance goals and what results are you achieving? Does your team know these goals and their role in achieving them?
Passion: Why do you do what you do? What drives you?
Persona: How do you present yourself? Do people trust you? Is the way you’re acting how you’d like to be described at your own eulogy?
I challenge you to spend some time thinking about these questions and working to answer them for yourself.
If you want some insights in how you relate to others, the second component of Human Leadership is developing your Emotional Intelligence. I call it building your ARMES, the 5 key areas of EI: self Awareness, self Regulation, Motivation, Empathy and Social skills. There are many tools that can help you build your ARMES, but the most important is your commitment and desire to improve.
If you want to dig more into how to be a Human Leader, and specifically how you can strengthen your emotional intelligence (EQ) or get greater clarity on your 3 P’s, send me an email so we can set up a time to chat. ([email protected]). I’d love to hear from you!