What Authentic Leaders Know

There are many ways to fail as a leader but only one way to succeed.

John Maxwell said it best when he said that you can care for people without leading them but you cannot lead people without caring for them. 

Way too many wanna be leaders aspire to a position that will “force” or require people to follow them. They fail to realize that no one follows a position. People follow people, not positions or titles. They also fail to understand that no one can be forced to follow, they can only be forced to comply. 

When your people merely comply their growth is limited. When you as a leader limit the growth of your people you also limit your growth and the growth of your organization as well.

Authentic leaders aspire to be the type of person that people will want to follow. They have learned that people follow leaders who genuinely care about them. I use the word “genuinely” because you can only pretend to care for a relatively short period of time. Sooner or later your supposed followers will see you for the fraud that you are.

If you expect people to follow you then you should expect to do the things required of a leader.  You must care about your people.

If you do not possess the human capacity to care for another individual you do not possess the capacity to lead. All authentic leaders know that if you cannot care about others you will not succeed, long term, as a leader. 

The good news is that you can learn to care. You can learn to invest time with your people instead of spending time on them. 

Invest your time learning about them as people. You’re not likely to care about an employee number but you just might care when you see them as a person, just like other people you care about. 

Slow down, learn about the motivations, the goals, the aspirations, and even the challenges of your people. They are real! They matter, your success depends on them. 

It’s tough to care about people you don’t know about and it’s impossible to lead people you don’t care about. If you think you can you’re even misleading yourself.

Why YOU Matter!

There are few things in life that you absolutely must know. I suppose even those few things could be debated. The few things we must know vary by person as well. Your occupation or profession will also partially determine what you need to know too. Where you live might make a difference along with how long you live. 

What you need to know is at least a little different than what I need to know or what the person who lives down the street needs to know. But there is one thing that every single living human being needs to know.

They matter!

YOU matter!

There is absolutely no way you could ever stop mattering. Even if you allow someone to convince you that you are somehow inferior to other people YOU still matter. YOU matter whether you believe it or not, so believe it! 

Because YOU matter, never let someone tell YOU that you don’t. People, anyone, that would tell you that YOU don’t matter clearly do not have your best interests in mind. Ignore them. Those kind of people will likely always be part of your life but it is solely your choice as to whether you listen to them or not. Always remember this: NEVER be one of those people who think or say that YOU don’t matter. Some days you may need to remind yourself often that YOU are amazing and that no matter what happens in your life YOU matter!

The world needs YOU and it needs YOU to be just as YOU are. Even if you’re an identical twin there is only one YOU. No one else can be truly be identical to YOU so don’t rob the world of YOU by trying to be someone or something you’re not. Just be the very best YOU possible. 

Don’t believe that you’re just “good enough” or only “average” because you’re not only the best YOU, you’re the only YOU. Out of billions of people already born and yet to be born there is only one of YOU and that ought to prove just how special YOU are and how much YOU matter. 

Because YOU matter YOU can accomplish great things. You’ve been given a life that allows you the opportunity to make a difference in the world. As long as you can draw a breath you have the opportunity to use your amazing life to make a difference in the life of someone else. YOU do!

Maybe helping other people know how much they matter is the difference you’ll make. It’s a worthwhile difference to make and YOU can do that.

It’s only a question of whether or not YOU will! So answer the question today by telling, and maybe even showing, someone how much they matter to YOU!