What makes a good Leader?
When I ask this question in my workshops, I get a laundry list of answers. We fill one sheet after another on the flip chart writing these qualities. And I wonder how can one person have so many amazing attributes? We want our leaders to be role models in every way. What do we get in reality? How many of us have been lucky to work for bosses who were true leaders? How does one assess a leader’s capability on each of these parameters. It is a herculean task.
When I look back and think of all the bosses I have worked for, some of them completely stand apart. And what made then stand apart is their passion for people. They focussed on people day in and day out. Every time their team member achieved something, crossed a milestone, they felt overjoyed. Some of the things they did:
1. Extensive focus on people development – Everyone loves a manager who cares for their development. They made sure they had a plan for each member and followed through the plan.
2. One to one talk – They grabbed every chance of having a one to one chat with their team members on how things were. These talks were not marked or requested for, it came naturally to them. They used every 5-10 minutes they got alone with their team members to connect with them and listen to them.
3. Celebrate Team member’s win – They shared the same joy as team members on their achieving a milestone. These people made sure that they shared and celebrated every individual’s success.
4. Stood with their Team members – In tough times they did not shy away from rolling up their sleeve and working shoulder to shoulder with their team.
5. Care for everyone – They created an environment of Trust in the team by caring for their team members.
I believe that lack of “Passion for people” is one of the main reason why some teams are not managed effectively. Taking team responsibility is a growth step for most functions. But before we give team responsibility to an individual contributor, we need to make sure that he/she has the passion for people. When leaders gets passionate about people, they can learn ways to be more effective and run better teams.