Care about your People

Friday, June 27th, 2008

In today’s day and age the importance of charisma is overestimated. We routinely tune in to the myriad television shows and news reports that highlight actresses and politicians who enrapt with an alluring glow. Often we want to be just like them. If you happen to be charismatic, great, but that isn’t the signature characteristic of a great leader. Kindness is.

A great leader has to be able to organize his thoughts, communicate exceptionally well and have some sense of the dramatic to be effective, but he needs something more to get the words to resonate with others. The words have to be spoken by someone who is concerned about their employees, who understands what they need and want for themselves, and who is unafraid to reveal that he or she is a member of the human race.

There is a perverted assumption among the managerial ranks that one must maintain a psychological distance from others to be an effective leader. In fact, the opposite is true. The effectiveness of leaders emanates from a common world view and bond. There is a basic conception among people who fundamentally all want the same things: to be appreciated, to belong, to feel good about themselves, to make a difference The reason that kindness is so important in leadership is because it implies those root connections among people engaged in meaningful, reciprocal relations.  

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