A Few Thoughts on Leadership

People are the most important resource in any organization. Treating one’s employees or members simply as means to an end is a recipe for failure.

Leaders who are only interested in pursuing selfish ends will find themselves alone – or worse, surrounded by other selfish opportunists whom he cannot or should not trust.

People are not stupid. If a leader only sees you as a tool to further his or her progress, you’ll probably pick up on it. And you probably won’t be able to perform at your best.

Effective leadership is based on trust and wellbeing. We evolved in small, high trust tribes. As such, we function best when oxytocin flows freely and cortisol does not.

Making other people feel good is important. Exceedingly harsh criticism can kill morale, whereas sincerely telling someone that you would like to help them prevent similar mistakes in the future will earn you their trust and respect.

Most of us want to feel important. While seeking social validation can become detrimental if taken too far, we want to be recognized for our good deeds. Thus are genuine compliments an indispensable part of leadership. Don’t flatter; instead, simply be honest when someone does something you appreciate.

And it’s important to keep in mind that perception, quite often, is everything. If a leader cares about his team but never expresses it, the effect may be the same as if he doesn’t care for them at all.

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