Being a leader involves exhibiting deep care about people, processes and results. This care manifests itself in many small ways –
- Following up on commitments
- Ensuring the customer’s needs are represented in the room
- Respecting people’s time by showing up on time and, in connection oriented jobs, responding to them in time
- Showing up prepared
- Running great meetings
- Never hesitating on asking the tough questions – but always doing so in a constructive manner
- Documenting thought process and rationale thoroughly
- Bringing a positive attitude
- Seeking to understand and then to be understood
- Demonstrating great care for team members by enabling them to learn and grow
There are occasions and roles when you have to act like a leader more often than not- e.g., lead from the front and be the decisive voice in the room. But, these are fewer and increasingly not the norm.
Instead, most jobs are a lot more about being a leader versus acting like one. Exhibiting deep care doesn’t require you to lead from the front. Instead, it works best when you lead from behind – that is the kind of leadership required in most roles anyway.
Finally, what is often forgotten is that you have to first be a leader to earn the right to act like one.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.