Chris Hadfield, retired Canadian Astronaut, said it best when he defined what leadership is.
“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the ground work for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.”
As leaders grow and develop, they recognize these 3 traits as foundational to support those around them.
Recognize individuals, and their needs.
The Platinum Rule says: Treat others as they want to be treated. From a leadership perspective, it suggests that you: Lead others the way they want to be led.
The Platinum Rule recognizes that people have different preferences.
It’s about caring enough to find out what’s important to another person and flexing your style to give them what they need (not what you might need under similar circumstances).
You can explore this further in The Golden Rule Goes Platinum.
Listening… to understand, not respond.
It may seem obvious, but letting people finish their thought(s) allows them to express themselves more fully. It also limits the risk of others feeling ignored or unappreciated.
When you take your time before responding, it also gives you the opportunity to fully process what’s been said and be more thoughtful in your response.
You can explore this further in Communicating in Silence: How to Connect Without Words.
“If you clearly communicated your expectations, establish the boundaries, and extended your trust to your team, how would that benefit the team and you as their leader?”
After some awkward silence, he answered, “Well, my team might feel that I have confidence and trust in their ability to solve the gap issue without my direct involvement.”
You can explore this further in The Power of Positive Projection.
By recognizing different needs, you can support your team better.
By listening to understand, you can show appreciation and respect to your team.
By trusting your team, they in turn, will trust each other.
By truly partnering with your team, you can achieve more.
What other traits have you found to be most helpful?
If you or your team would like to take a deep dive into leadership skills, we’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you. Give us a call at +1.847.920.0190.