What Leaders want to hear:
“I want to be in this relationship with you because being in this relationship brings out the best in me and makes me want to be and do all that I am capable of. You see greatness in me that I don’t even realize. And you care for me even when I am not at my best.” “Isn’t that also what love is about?” (From “A Leaders Legacy” Kouzes and Posner)
One of my very earliest memories was asking my Mom, “What does it mean to love someone?” Mom, who couldn’t have been more than about 23 years old at the time, said, ”It means you would do anything for that person.” My young Mother laid out the perfect definition of Agape Love and I’ve pretty much been trying go with it since.
As I read about leadership, I realize it is most effective when it is about love. Selfless works better than selfish, how can I help (and love) you is always better than how can you help (and love) me. People will move mountains for the right leader (or lover). The person who says “how can I make those (and the world around me) better” is going to lead. The people who say “What’s in this for me?” are followers.
There are pretty much two ways to come at life, from love instead of fear, from abundance instead of lack, from service instead of job description. One view brings out potential, unlocks arts and makes lifelong allies. The other is about compliance, doing things by the book and trudging through life.
”Great leaders are those who can respond to their own need and the needs of others from the higher levels of spirit with vision, creativity and a sense of unity with the people they lead.” Deepak Chopra The Soul of Leadership.
Great leadership says:
“Worry about the customers, money will follow.”
“How can I help?”
“I like what you did, can we make it better?”
“I know you’ve made mistakes, but they’ve made you who you are today, I can work with that.”
“How can I be better at making this work for both of us?”
“Your opinion matters to me.”
Poor leaders rule with an iron fist, they micro manage, they believe their followers serve them. Good leaders don’t (same with lovers).