Leaders want their people to succeed; success lifts the person and the leader. Leaders cannot succeed if those they lead fail. The most effective leaders invest significant time engaging and coaching their people.
- Exceptional leaders appreciate that empathy and emotional intelligence, paired with experience and intellect, enable them to engage and collaborate with their employees such that those they lead gain awareness about how each person makes a difference. This truth is what inspires people to invest discretionary effort to achieve a goal that delivers success.
- These leaders recognize that success is contagious – it stimulates enthusiasm. They make themselves available to all, though with varying degrees of access, so that people can interact with them, feel the enthusiasm and sense the opportunity to contribute. Sometimes, it’s a walk around; sometimes it’s a team meeting. But the secret is engaging with the people so they can share their ideas and emotions. The meetings these leaders facilitate are less about “reporting” and more about building shared accountability, considering what’s next and what must be accomplished as a team to get there.
- Leaders are subject to constant pressure that often causes them to make personal sacrifices. Few discuss the costs associated with the choices they must make, accepting them as part of greater corporate responsibility and carrying on as expected. They manage this stress with ongoing dialogue at work and at home, using their personal values to guide them. In this way, they model the strength, integrity and perseverance that enables them to serve as exceptional leaders.
It’s a leader’s behavior that is the primary driver of team success.