I see many people in leadership space confuse leadership with the title, that I’m a leader once I have manager, CEO, any type of title after my name, and here’s the thing. You can hold a position and be an important person in any organization, but being a true leader, you actually have to be a nice human being.
What do I mean by that, being a nice human being? There’s a few things that you need to be a true leader. You need to care for the people around you, and when I talk about care, I don’t mean I say hello in the morning because that’s the right thing to do, actually care about the development, care about how they actually are, not how they are when they show up to do the work that they need to do today, actually care about them as human beings and want the best for them, so I have to actually care.
To be a good human being, I also have to help people and help them whether it’s work through some challenge that they have or whether it’s help them see what they can achieve, help them see their potential. Helping the people around me is really, really key.
To be a really good human being, I also have to want to be there. I see so many leaders that have these amazing positions and, as soon as they arrive at work, the first thing they do is go into their office and close their door and, “Ah, now, I don’t have to see those people anymore.”
If you really want to make an impact, you have to actually want to be there, and that’s part of being a good human being and being a leader. I actually want to be there, so I’m kind, I care. I want to be there, and I interact and connect.
Connection, I’ve read a lot about connection recently and how important it is, but connecting with the other person and not looking at what their job title is and, “I’ll invest in you and I connect in you because you’re in my team.” I’ve seen it happen so much where someone connects and they really like to be interested in your life and really want to connect with you as a human being because you’re in their team and, once you actually leave their team, will then, “Well, you don’t report to me anymore, so then I don’t have, have to actually connect with you.”
One of the things that I used to pride myself on, and I still do, is that I connect with people regardless of what they do. Connecting with the person who cleans the toilet is as important as connecting with the CEO, because everyone is really important in the organization regardless of their job title. If we’re only connecting because of what the person’s job title is, then we’re not being a good human being. We’re just looking for our own success, and that’s fine, but we can’t call ourselves a leader as we do it.
Part of being a good human being and a good leader is owning your behaviour, owning that you’re actually choosing to connect with these people because that’s what you do, owning if you’re not. If you want to be a great leader, if you want to be a leader of any stature, you must first be a good human being because one never happens without the other.
I assure you my friend, being a leader does not come first and then being a good human being. We must be a good human being first because, the people around you, they’re human beings and they want, they NEED you to connect with them, so, please, take a moment today. Forget about your title. Forget about what your job entails just for five minutes today and connect with those around you just as a human being, just as yourself and see the impact that that has on the people around you when you see them for the person that they are, Jane, Bob, Jill, instead of the just their job titles.
Leadership comes the heart. It doesn’t come from the name on the door.