Monday, February 7, 2011

The People You Lead Don't Care What You Like

Unless you are one of those extra-ordinary, supremely talented leaders who is so inspiring that people nearly idolize you and will literally do pretty much anything for you (and in my 28 years on this planet I can only think of one person I've worked for who even comes close to that), the people you are leading probably don't care a whole lot about your passions, interests, hopes, and dreams.

Might your passion inspire them? Sure. Can your hopes and dreams lift them up? Absolutely. Will shared interests bring benefits to individuals and the organization? Certainly. Pick up any book (or read any blog) on leadership and you're sure to find at least a chapter or post dedicated to the importance of creating a bold and compelling vision for the future -- and the impetus on you (as leader) to help craft that vision and bring it to life.

But if you're in the overwhelming majority of leaders who don't quite measure up to the ideal leader described above (and that's okay), the title of this blog is a good lesson for you to learn: the people you lead don't care what you like. What they do care about is whether you care about their passions, interests, hopes, and dreams. They want to know their leader values them beyond whatever goods or services they produce. They want to know they mean more to you than their contribution to the bottom line (however your industry or profession defines it). And whether they will ever tell you or not, it means the world to them when you take a genuine interest in things that are important to them.

One of the best pieces of leadership advice I ever received was this: When you're leading a group of people, it ain't about you.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely said, something to keep in mind if I ever supervise a staff!


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