When leaders don’t care then leaders don’t lead. They may well possess a leadership title or position but they don’t truly lead. They simply cannot be an authentic leader without a caring heart.
Let me repeat that for you, they simply cannot be an authentic leader without a caring heart.
They can manage, they can organize, they can plan, and they can have success, even great success, but they cannot lead.
In many businesses today “caring,” especially caring about people, is sadly considered a weakness. It is in fact, anything but a weakness. Caring about people informs every major decision an authentic leader makes. It may make some decisions more challenging and add to the time it takes to come to a decision but it will almost certainly result in a better decision.
Authentic leaders understand that you manage stuff, budgets, a process, buildings, contracts, and the like. They also understand that people won’t and really can’t be managed. They know that people must have a leader, not a manager, in order to achieve their full potential.
Authentic leaders also understand that no one cares what they know until they know that they care. People must know that their leader cares more about them as a person than they care about any policy or HR manual or task.
Authentic leaders know that you don’t have to sacrifice a single drop of profit or success in order to care about people. They willingly accept the added challenge of “serving” their people while meeting all the other requirements of leadership.
Great progress is made when a leader cares about their people.
Authentic leaders have far fewer “people challenges” because their people are committed and not merely compliant. They are committed to the leader and will go above and beyond for them, often, very often, doing more than is technically required of them.
Authentic leaders know that no business grows unless the people who make up the business grow first.
People like to grow, they like to be meaningfully challenged. Managers try to control people, leaders challenge and grow them. If you care enough about your people to compassionately challenge them to reach their full potential they will see you as an authentic leader. They will follow you anywhere. They will contribute to your success and the success of your organization.
Your success as a leader is judged by what your people do today but your legacy as a leader will be determined by how your people do when you’re not there to lead them anymore.
Do you care enough about them to invest yourself in them so that they continue to thrive in your absence? If you do then you may just have a chance to truly be of that rare breed… an authentic leader.