During a recent conversation with a CEO client of mine, I asked him a cliche question,  “What do you think it takes to be a leader/manager? His answer was not what I expected,however.

He said: In one word I would say a great leader has empathy. None of my people here get to be leaders on any level without it. They must first learn that “I” must be replaced with “WE” and never to use “ME”. Also I learned that being great in a lower position rarely makes for a good leader. True leaders learn to maneuver that fine line between “Boss” and “Friend”. I have managers here that I really and truly believe their people go the extra mile for EVERY day, because they want to do it for their manager first, and then their team, not because they have to.

He went to say: One of the greatest lessons I learned coming up through the ranks is that NO amount of intimidation, yelling, or threats ever produce lasting results, mostly this behavior leads to very high turnover. My leaders must be able to know their people well , and I don’t mean just their names, they know their outside interests, families, children, parents and grandparents, they must take an interest in their people outside of work, after all, they spend most of their time away from work, and believe me their personal lives can and do affect their performance here. My leaders aren’t always the best producers, I never base promotion on that alone, they must have that true, genuine  empathy and concern for others to move up.

My leaders have moved this company from mediocrity to one of the top 5 in our business, so we must be doing something right.

All I can say is —- I agree.

7 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Will Of Heart and commented:
    What Does It Really Take to Lead?
    I came to read one of the posts coming from: From the Road Warrior who always shares motivating post and great insight about life in every form and angle. You can check out his site in http://bobmichaels.wordpress.com.
    Why a person wants to become a leader? For some it might be about status or influence, or for others it might be the challenge of seeing how far they can progress. If all people who want to lead or our leader now have the same vision as what this post told, we expect the greater changes in our society.

  2. Reblogged this on Sandys Hopeful Room and commented:
    I came to this article in a round about way. . .some would call it Providence. I was reading a blog from Will of Heart and found this article “What Does It Really Take To Lead” by From a Road Warrior.
    I like this article and believe that all of us can benefit from what it says. Enjoy!

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