If you’re proud of yourself for leading, you’re doing it wrong.
Leaders worth following feel joy for occasionally getting it right, but they don’t strut around like bantam roosters followed by flocks of adoring hens.
The leader worth following is always learning. The cocky leader walks in circles with a compass that points in the wrong direction.
A leader worth following always cares, especially in the throws of difficulty. Anyone who enjoys kicking people down is a lousy leader.
Compassion and arrogance don’t scratch in the same barn yard. Arrogance cares more for itself than anyone else. Leaders consumed with themselves don’t have space for compassion and empathy.
Lousy leaders take offense easily, quickly, and frequently. Thin-skinned leaders are sandbags in everyone’s balloon.
The leader worth following extends forgiveness.
The leader worth following lifts the fallen, teaches the ignorant, and encourages the weak.
The leader worth following feels grateful to contribute.
Generosity, not greed, makes leaders great.
3 ways to be a leader worth following:
#1. Develop yourself more aggressively than you develop anyone else.
Leaders who have it all together, don’t.
- Ask questions.
- Consider alternatives.
- Practice structured self-reflection.
- Hire a coach.
- Spend time with mentors.
#2. Extend kindness.
Kindness always applies, even when terminating someone. Meanness disqualifies you from leadership.
The foundation for the tough side of leadership is kindness.
Toughness without kindness is closed and abrasive.
#3. Think highly of others.
Arrogance is frequently angry and seldom pleased with others. Joy and arrogance are incompatible.
You look like a ding-bat when you walk around like the cock-of-the-walk.
You don’t have to put yourself down to lift others up.
- Appreciate desirable character traits.
- Expect people to perform up to their capabilities.
- Respect potential.
- Challenge people to rise to challenges.
What is true of leaders worth following?