When Your Heart Lets Others Down
Negative environments are built by negative leaders.
Organizations reflect their leaders.
All leaders influence attitudes and behaviors. The people closest to you reflect you. If you aren’t influencing, you’re not leading. (Take this as a general principle not a moral absolute. Some people stay positive inspite of you.)
Rude in other’s eyes:
Rushing makes you rude. You see yourself as nice in your heart but there’s no time to show it. That makes you rude in the eyes of others.
Rude leaders – those who don’t have time for niceties – tell others they don’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s intentional or accidental.
Every act of rudeness says, “I’m more important than you.”
Rude leaders build self-centered, self-protective organizations.
Ungrateful in other’s eyes:
Pressing into the future makes leaders seem ungrateful about the present.
You see yourself as grateful but you don’t recognize achievement without reminding everyone they aren’t there yet.
The team reached goals this week but missed them last. What do you say when they celebrate? “That doesn’t fix last week!” You don’t want people letting down next week so you keep pushing. You’re an ungrateful jerk, even if you don’t feel that way.
Kind and grateful:
Kindness and gratitude build positive environments. Rudeness and ingratitude build negative environments – even if you don’t mean to be negative. You seem unkind even if you don’t feel it. Stop excusing neglect because you’re stressed.
Gratitude left unexpressed is perceived as ungratefulness.
Unexpressed kindness is unkindness regardless of intent.
Behaviors you wish you had time for don’t change anything. Feeling it “in your heart” isn’t enough. Wishing doesn’t matter.
Organizations reflect observable leadership behaviors. Express gratitude. Act kindly. Stop whining about negative environments created by neglect.
What leadership behaviors build positive environments?
Treating others like I want to be treated!
SP OUT!! 58 sales April. 2013 and counting!!!!
Treat others like they want to be treated… 😉
Good one, Dan! My grandmother always said “Nothing is yours until you’ve said thank you” and it is one of the rules I try to live by. One thing it’s also important to remember is that kindness is not something you do to gain favors either. It’s not kindness if the underlying motive is really that your behaviour will win you someone’s everlasting gratitude and loyalty. Being kind is the right thing to do, because it’s the right thing to do. That’s it! 🙂
You make me think that kindness is about me NOT you. Cheers
Thank you for this reminder, Dan. My takeaway is that leaders need to forget about themselves and focus on the good of the organization, its mission, and its people. Kouzes and Postner expressed it in one word – love. Strock, in his book “Serve to Lead”, uses the same word throughout. Collins, in “Good to Great”, does not speak of directly of love, but his Level 5 ideals clearly reflect the passion for organizational advancement and personal humility that only a deep love could inspire.
The most effective leader of all time, in terms of change to people’s life and a lasting mission, was Jesus Christ. He was a polarizing figure, and many don’t agree with what He said, but the effect of His work over a short 3 years was a sea change for the next 2000+, affecting millions and changing the course of history. He did this without media, money, the printed word, or social status, in a country under foreign occupation.
Jesus Christ’s mission was focused on one thing: Bringing people He loved back into a personal relationship with the God they had abandoned. He slept little, worked incessantly, gave of Himself completely – ultimately being murdered by a mob who rejected Him, only to come back with force in a way that changed the world irrevocably in the following generation.
Paul wrote of such love, saying that it is patient, kind, not jealous, boastful, proud, rude, self-centered, irritable. Love doesn’t keep score, rejoices in justice and truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is hopeful and enduring.
Such love is not principally an emotion, but a choice. It is a choice to act in the interest of the person or thing we love. Love can produce wonderfully deep emotions, but having emotions only without genuine love is a sham, and will inevitably fail.
As leaders, we show our love for the organization when we advance its mission. We show our love for people when we put them before ourselves.
True love can’t be feigned. If I love my status as a leader more than the organization or people I lead, I don’t deserve to lead.
True love cares, but isn’t soft. It does what is right, even if people disapprove. It does what is right, not to say “I’m right”, but because it is always right to do right. It is kind, not for reciprocity, but because kindness is an expression of love and the right thing to do. It asks forgiveness when wrong, because it values a strong relationship unfettered by strife
Those who love aren’t always hailed as leaders. in fact, they may pay a steep price in a “dog eat dog” world. However, there is no better way to lead, no more effective, than the leadership of love.
Thank you, Dan, for bringing this subject to the forefront.
Thanks Marc…. I love the idea that leaders love – seek the highest good – of their organizations and the people they come in contact with. Best
I like Scott’s view< i'm a firm believer in treating others the way you expect to be treated, also a random act of kindness daily goes a long way.
From what I know of you Tim, you act in harmony with your comment…cheers
What a great article! It’s so easy to get caught up in your work and make people feel like you don’t have time for them. The whole while you make people think that you are ungrateful.
I think the biggest thing is “showing” gratitude. Whether it’s a hand written thank you card, an impromptu lunch, or a standing ovation at your next meeting. There’s a thousand ways to show gratitude, and it works every time!
I’m thankful for your comment!
“Organizations reflect their leaders.” That is absolutely true. The leader definitely sets the tone for the organizations. If he or she is considerate, supportive and treats everyone with respect then that will be reflected in the relationships that exist among all others in the organization. Leaders’ attitude and demeanor make all the difference in creating a positive climate.
Personally, I find that idea the most challenging concept of leadership.
I wish you would correct the title of this—“Let’s” is a contraction for “Let us.” Otherwise, the content is perfect. Wishing doesn’t make it so.
Mary, I’m an old English major . . . and it was really hard for me to get past the “Let’s” in the title! Thanks for taking the direct approach.
Not everyone wants to be treated like I like to be treated, so I strive to treat others they way they like to be treated.
That is absolutely true. Well said.
To each their own, unless you are a mind reader. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”.
Nicely put, Duane! I might borrow that!
I really needed this!
For some reason I can’t do what Marc said “leaders need to forget about themselves and focus on the good of the organization” I am not sure if I am selfish or I can’t be humble enough or I just can’t keep in my mind that if I serve my team, it WILL turn out for the better.
My takeaway is stop rushing! Express more feelings!
I am really having hard time with that and need help.
Dima, If you work with a team, they are what will ultimately make you or break you. And their actions toward you and their work will reflect your actions toward them. Not all of us are high enough on the corporate ladder to truly impact “the good of the organization,” but no matter where we are in the leadership hierarchy, all of us can act is such a way that we contribute to the good of our direct reports and team members. It only takes a few seconds to say “nice job” or “thank you” or “keep up the good work.” But it has a huge ripple effect.
You take away is mine too! Thanks
What you focus on grows. Where the energy is, attention follows. Simple mantras that work. So let’s focus on kindness, goodness, and positivity and notice what shows up Thanks, Dan!
YOu motivate me….thanks
I’ve really subscribed (and tried to live) to the idea that an attitude of gratitude and random acts of kindness go a long ways in getting people on board and keeping them there. The added bonus is, you feel better too! 🙂 Being considerate of others and acting in ways that are positive and appreciative of effort and/or progress doesn’t make you weak, it makes you thoughtful and a leader who recognizes you can attract more bees with honey than vinegar!
Thanks Vicki…I believe it too…my problem is I don’t always follow through… 🙂
Wow. I’ll be expressing some kindness today for sure. “Unexpressed kindness is unkindness regardless of intent.”. Going to put that on my list to address the next time I have lunch with myself to reflect and plan.
I wrote it to myself, first… 🙂 Glad you found it challenging/encouraging.
As a solopreneur, I sometimes forget to take a moment to stop and thank my wonderful, supportive family who took this big leap with me. My friends who know just when to push and when to comfort. Jason at the post office who always, always has a smile on his face and a friendly good morning or afternoon. Thanks for the nudge. Expressions of thanks and the gift of time are priceless.
Glad you brought up the people who are closest to us. I we forget them.
Thank you for reminding me that the person I think I am inside is not always the person others see on the outside. We have to present that inner person to the world through our words and our actions. We need to be living illustrations. Their reactions to us will be the evidence of our success or failure to effectively communicate.
You make me think about the importance of declaring ourselves. It can be painful when others don’t see us like we see us…but it’s essential to work though this pain if we want to connect authentically. Cheers
I should send this to the “leaders” at my workplace. They seems like they are too busy/too important to stop and acknowledge someone. It’s rude and it doesn’t matter what you feel inside, but what your actions are and how it affects those around you.
Well, your leaders are like many that I know….it’s easy to slip into being too busy or too important to have manners.
When you respect and care for others, manners come easily. Respect and care can’t be turned on and off if you have integrity. Manners and decency are all a part of who we are
I live that you get under the hood of manners … your approach takes us beyond simple strategies to the heart of the matter.
As a leader taking time out on your already busy schedule to have genuine conversation which doesn’t include work issues with your staff can really ease off an already tense situation in the workplace. So sharing a little joke with your staff can really boost morale for everyone, including YOU!
Good one, Dan!
As always, another great post. Your emphasis on intent vs. action made me think of this observation someone once made, “We judge ourselves by our intent while others judge us by our behaviors.”
Keep up the great work!
I love the part about kindness. We too often use stress as a reason to not continuely participate in acts of kindness. We need to make sure we are doing our part, everyday, to be kind to others. Thanks for sharing!