Despite or perhaps because of all the latest fads in leadership training, I am convinced that you must have empathy, understanding, and compassion to be a truly effective leader. The Golden Rule still applies – treat people as you would like to be treated. An organization is only as good as its people and a good organization starts by caring for its people. You start by acknowledging, understanding what’s important to them, sincerely taking an interest in them and their world. People will accomplish amazing things when they see that you sincerely have an interest in them and unselfishly want to help them and the team become successful. There will be days or times when one will not be performing at his/her best – even athletes have rough periods. Work with them and find out why. Something as minor as having a car in the Shop can naturally and subconsciously preoccupy one’s mind during the workday. Have faith in and loyalty to your people. Objectives and rules are important but don't micromanage or you will invoke Harvard’s Law: ”Under the most carefully controlled conditions of temperature, density, and pressure, the organism will do what it damn well pleases.”
Some quotes from one of the greats, UCLA’s Coach John Gooden:
“You must have respect, which is a part of love, for those under your supervision. Then they will do what you ask and more.”
“Motivating through fear may work in the short term to get people to do something, but over the long run I believe personal pride is a much greater motivator. It produces far better results that last for a much longer time.”
And finally, retired US Army General Eric Shinseki:
''You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader...You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance.''
Frank Lio is a Product Manager, Strategist, and Change Agent in the Hi-Tech industry. His growing track record of successes include creating 3 winning software products, leading nationwide seminars, and turning around a failing business unit. He is currently serving a dual role as Product Manager and Business Team Support Manager at Instron ITW.
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