What does it take to be a good leader? This is a question that is asked often and there are countless opinions and thoughts on the subject. I won’t pretend for a minute to say that I have the definitive formula of what makes a good leader.
But what I can confidently says is that the characteristics of compassion, understanding and love are too often missing from top leaders. We have been programmed to assume that powerful leaders must not be kind or sympathetic.
This is a grave mistake. Leaders should be even more kind and sympathetic than others. It is the leaders that people look to for guidance. A leader who puts love and compassion first truly understands the members of his organization. He or she also gains immense respect from employees, who will then be willing to do almost anything for such a leader.
We associated leaders with power and position. But just because someone has a high position – whether it be in a company, group or even the head of a country – does not mean that he or she is a good leader.
“We’ve confused rank and leadership. They’re not the same thing,” says author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek in a Forbes article. “I know many people that sit at the highest levels of an organization who are not leaders. We do as they say because they have authority, but we would not follow them voluntarily. I know many leaders who sit at mid-ranks who have no authority and they’ve made a choice to look out for the people around them, and we would follow them anywhere.”
Think about those people throughout your life who automatically command attention and respect without even trying. People are instantly attracted to such people and will listen to them enthusiastically.
Courage is another important characteristic of good leaders. Companies have to answer to shareholders, who are just interested in economic profits. It is those leaders who are brave enough to put people ahead of profits who show true love and compassion. These are the type of leaders we need more of.
Companies, of course, cannot operate without making profit. But we need to shift our way of thinking so that we we are more kind, compassionate and full of love. The profits will naturally follow.
Weaver, Thinker, Doer