Measure Your Leadership How Effective Are You with People?
Do you want to be a good leader at work? At home? At church? In the community? I could measure your leadership at one of five levels if you let me ask the people you lead how they feel about you. Do they fear you? Tolerate you? Respect you? Like you? Or love you?
Your measure with the majority of those around you will reveal how well you are doing as a leader.
I had a conversation a few months back with the leaders I work with. I told them, “I have three expectations of you: (1) People should love you, (2) Protect the culture, and (3) Grow.” I tell them, “When I ask people about you, I want them to say, ‘I love him/her.'”
Allow me to expound a little on the five levels I mentioned above.
Five Levels of Relationships with the People You Lead
Consider your relationships with the people closest to you. Carefully weigh each one against the criteria below. How do people respond to you?
- They fear me. This is the worst stage of a leadership relationship. When the people we lead are afraid of us, we won’t get far. In some skewed way, leaders may feel more powerful and capable because their people fear them. But the strain on relationships means creativity is diminished and culture is at an all time low. A leader’s effectiveness will be short-lived at best. If the people you lead fear you, I invite you to change course immediately. Talk to them like they are your family. Trust people with their responsibilities and remove yourself from a position of micromanagement.
- They tolerate me. This stage is one of awkward communication and relationships. There is no chemistry. People will resort to getting their jobs done to appease you, but nothing more. No innovation and no excitement.
- They respect me. The old axiom: “I don’t care if they like me; I want them to respect me,” will only get you so far. Of course, if someone respects you, you have likely done something to earn their respect. Perhaps you have accomplished something tangible or impacted the culture in a positive way.
- They like me. Likability is good. However, it is often overlooked in leadership study and skills. Don’t underestimate the immense power of kindness and compassion. It paves the way for connecting and communicating.
- They love me. Ultimately, this is where we want to be in our leadership relationships. When the people you lead love you, it is usually because you loved them first and continue to do so. Love creates a powerful synergy that transcends all obstacles.
Here is the reality. I would like to be at a Level 5 with everyone around me, and all those I lead. But I am not. Why? Because I am human. But I aim to be; I try to be. I work on myself daily and seek God’s help to get there, to manage my heart and my thoughts, to manage my calendar and my time.
Join me! Let’s lead well.
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