What Kind of Leader Are You?

How Will You Be Remembered As A Leader?

Picture a leader you've had that proudly stands out in your mind. 

What was it about that leader that impacted you so much? Envision their face, their eyes, their smile. Words like strong, smart, empathetic, and purposeful come to mind as I think of the leader I admire. Along with the inspiration she gave me to be my very best.

Be my best, different from do my bestWe are human beings after all, not human doings. The relationship was one of growth and development for me, not just the fine execution of tasks.

Be  a role model, be purposeful, be in integrity, be a leader. Those are the things I wanted to stand for.

And with that, success came, both personally and for the business. It often does when the leader creates the right environment; nurtured gardens grow.

Now picture a time you've experienced poor leadership.

The feelings that arise for me include overwhelm, sadness, and annoyance. 

The difference? How that leader made me feel, the environment they created. I didn’t trust them, the information given or lack thereof. There was no feeling of connection or being cared about; I was a means to an end. 

Those times, my desire to be my best was driven by service to my team and to my work, not by my leader or the company. My motivation being my own pride and the instinct to protect my team from this poor leadership.

That meant on paper, for a while anyway, the numbers showed high performance and success. But that kind of motivation is not sustainable. Morale can never be high and burnout is inevitable.

And the burnout came too, as it does with that environment.

How will you be remembered as a leader?

“When I talk to a manager, I get the feeling they are important. When I talk to a leader, I get the feeling I am important.”
— Alexander den Heijer

You may not be sure, and that’s ok, take a moment to reflect. What’s not ok is to carry on without ever considering it. Your leadership has an impact, on your team, on the work you do together, and ultimately, on the success you experience. 

Leadership, knowing what people need in order to perform and to contribute, to cultivate loyalty, to bring about results and success, can be developed.

It's up to you to make the commitment to get better. When people can be their best they will do their best.