What Does it Take to be a Great Leader? (Part 4)
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer
Last week I wrote about two important qualities of a great leader: teachability and humility. On The Next Page podcast, Marisa and I discussed what these look like and how we can develop these qualities. Today, I would like to wrap up this series with the final quality that will take your leadership to the next level. So let’s dig in.
Are you a person who adds value to others? Great leaders realize that it’s never about them. They know that for them to succeed those around them need to succeed. Great leaders are intentional about adding value to others. The interesting fact about living your life for others and adding value to others is that it actually enhances your life. Your life becomes more abundant. More abundant in opportunity. More abundant in friendships. More abundant in resources. More abundant in joy.
Let’s look at simple ways we can add value to others:
- Start by getting to know the people closest to you. What are their hopes, their dreams? When you take an interest in them, they feel valued by you. Do you know the names for their family members? Do you know their hobbies or interests outside of work? People love to talk about themselves and tell others about special events and joys in their life. When you become part of that process, you have shown that you value them and in turn, add value to them.
- Become an intentional encourager. Someone once asked how we know if a person needs encouragement and the answer was quite simple; if they are breathing, they need encouragement. Are you intentional about encouraging people? We live in a world that is full of discouragement, criticism, and negativity. Great leaders take on the responsibility of breaking that cycle in the circles where they travel. Being kind and believing in people is like adding oxygen to the room. People perk up and begin to look for positives in situations. They begin to believe that every problem has a solution and as a team, the solution will be found.
- Be specific in recognizing people. When someone does something well, tell them. Be specific and sincere with your praise. It might sound like this, “Jennifer, thanks for turning in your report early. Your work was well thought out, and it helped me get a jump on my portion of the project.” Avoid generalities like “you guys are the best” or “great job!” tell them why they are the best or what was great about their work.
- What can you do for others that they can’t do for themselves? Does someone need resources that you have access to? Do they need to be introduced to someone you know who can help them grow and develop? By taking the time to see what you can do for them, that they can’t do for themselves, you are giving them a shot at tremendous opportunity and showing that you really care. Now that’s adding value.
Please join Marisa and me on Episode 99 of The Next Page podcast as we look for additional ways to add value to others.