“…as­tute lead­ers tune in to oth­ers’ feel­ings and pre­dis­po­si­tions, and ac­knowl­edge dif­fer­ent opin­ions from a va­ri­ety of sources. Now (when you may not nec­es­sar­ily need it) is the time to seek out and es­tab­lish a pro­fes­sional sup­port sys­tem so that it is there when you re­ally do re­quire it. No mat­ter what your ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions, there is some­one out there who’s “been there and done that,” which means that you can learn from their suc­cesses and mis­takes.”
MERGE GUPTA-SUN­DERJI, for The Globe and Mail – March 18, 2019

Leadership can be many things to many people. With so many differing stakeholders or audiences, we will never agree on the ultimate perfect leader – and we shouldn’t.  There will never be a ‘perfect’ leader.  But there will be leaders who will get more marks in some ‘leadership categories’ than others.  To state the obvious, it all depends on so many factors.

But top marks in one category is available to every leader regardless of the leadership level of authority that you have, the environment, the industry, the timing and more.  This category is open to everyone.

Relationships

Of all the leadership traits, the ones that employees treasure the most contains words like:

  • empathy
  • compassion
  • awareness
  • interest in others and emotional intelligence

These all fit under the category of ‘relationships’.

Great leaders know how to build relationships and maintain them.  They take an interest in their employees – at whatever level is possible.  They can read the people around them and know how to engage – and how not to engage with them. They pay attention to the lives of their people – inside and outside the office.

And they just don’t wing it.  They make this a key part of their job function, leaving time every week to look after this. And they use tools to make it happen.

Some will use a regularly scheduled ‘Office Walk-About’ to be sure to touch base with people on matters not related to work.   Others will spend time with employees at lunch – not just once in awhile but often.  

There are many tools and techniques that leaders will use to stay in touch.  The best leaders will use whatever it takes.

 

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