CA – Caring Anonymous
You care, even though you might feel uncomfortable showing it.
Personally, for years, I’ve joked, “I’m from Maine. We have feelings on Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July. I’m not a touchy-feely.” But, the truth is, I care.
Maybe leaders need Caring Anonymous meetings. Hello, I’m Dan and I care.
Leaders and organizations without heart are dead, even if they make money.
Hard asses need coercion to lead.
Fear dominates in heartless organizations.
3 reasons leaders fear heart:
- People will walk all over you.
- Results will be replaced by warm fuzzy feelings and business will fail.
- You don’t know how to deal with tough issues quickly.
Leadership is influence. Influence requires connection. Heart is the fiber of connection.
I’ll follow a leader who get’s misty about people, leadership, and business. Go home, if you don’t care.
4 ways to lead with heart:
- Let people see you. Energy requires vulnerability, but hiding blocks fulfillment.
- Bring heart to tough issues and conversations. An unwillingness to confront means you need to care more, not less. Jerks lead with hard hearts. Push-overs ignore tough issues. Successful leaders care most when it hurts.
- Ask, “How might we care for each other as we move forward?” Only machines deliver results without feeling.
- Raise the bar high because people are worth it. Say:
- You have more in you.
- Let’s break through issues that hold you back.
- How might I pull the rope with you?
The belief that you can lead without heart destroys leadership.
Success without heart is failure. Heart doesn’t block leadership. It enables it.
Look around your office. Do you see leaders who care?
What makes leaders afraid of leading with heart?
How might leaders lead with heart?
If we don’t show that we care, how will anyone know? I, for one, am very concerned about a society that goes down a path that takes the caring out of the equation – it’s what makes us human.
Thanks Dianna. One of the things we might want to care about is the bad rap that caring has in leadership circles.
this is truth. Now how to do it to inspire-also being a positive person whether it is great news or not–helps to bring teams to a higner level.
Thanks Anita. Yes, in the end leaders care about bringing teams to a higher level. It’s about the way we get there.
Great stuff, Dan. I admire how you can go so deep with such brevity!
Just plain ole This is great. Thanks Dan.
Leaders must have compassion for their followers. I am currently working on my Masters in Leadership. My company reimburses us for tuition but I recently found out every course must be submitted for prior approval. Subsequently, I will not be reimbursed about $2500 this semester as I wasn’t aware of this policy (my fault because I didn’t read it completely). However, my manager has been working on his MBA the past three years. When I approached him about my dilemma, he stated that it wasn’t his responsibility to inform me – which I agree – however, as a leader, I was hoping for a little compassion. There’s definitely a difference between a manager and a leader in my point of view.
Thanks Kathy. You hit on something that blocks caring…concern for looking bad. If I care, am I admitting that I did something wrong. There are better ways of thinking.
Their ego makes leaders afraid of leading with heart. When they develop ego, they feel others are inferiors. And such feeling create distance with others. The ego prevents them to know about their knowledge and competence. They continue to believe that they know more than others. This is their ignorance. They fail to connect with people. Such people create fear when they get power.
High level of wisdom, maturity and acceptance help leaders to lead with heart. They should be courageous to accept what they do not know. Fearful leaders do not ready to accept their weaknesses. They create space with others and fear of being exposed. They use control methods. Wise leaders are humble and people centric. They develop people.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. I’m glad you bring humility into this conversation. It opens an important door for thinking and exploration.
It’s difficult to care when you always have to be right.
“Success without heart is failure” is easy for us to see, but too many of our leaders think that success without heart is success.
So, is it nature (personality traits, i.e. low levels of agreeableness and high levels of neuroticism), nurture (our environment) or both?
In any case, your blog is a wonderful reminder of the potential we hold to make our world a better place through 1.) tasks and 2.) relationships.
Thanks Richard. I appreciate your observations and kind words. So much of leadership is tied up in “tasks and relationships.”
Do care your team even though you don’t feel comfortable showing it to them.
Action speaks louder than words.
Big thing said with so much simplicity. There are leaders who have molded themselves not to care. This might be out of fear that if you start caring, people will be all over you and you will loose power. Strange conclusions! Who will teach these worthies that ” Care begets care”
It is presumed in many organizational settings that “caring” is a sign of weakness. This is a typical “management theory” that assumes all management figures need to be firm without feeling, consistent without caring and authoritative without appreciation. Leadership on the other hand has a central focus on caring for others through believing, developing and establishing a shared vision of success. As leaders, our mission is to demonstrate care through a common belief and vision of possibilities.
Many organizations will not let the caring leaders go higher. Being a caring person is seen as a weakness and a flaw in the context of today’s leadership mantra. Being a BOSS is what is perceived as a good leader. No wonder success achieved in such a way has little emotional meaning and is short-lasting.