Chris Hogan, author of “Everyday Millionaires”, has a famous saying: “Good leaders help people get better at their jobs. Great leaders help people get better at life.”
Great leaders work to connect on a deeper level with their team members. They serve not just as a leader in the business, but as a coach, a mentor and role model in life.
Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak, puts it another way. Great leaders teach people how to think about themselves, and they impact the way people think about themselves.
This approach is atypical in the corporate world and can feel uncomfortable for many leaders. But if you can get there, magic happens. Performance skyrockets. Loyalty becomes part of the culture of the organization. Profits soar.
So as a leader, how do you build connection on a deeper level?
It takes three things: care, respect, and understanding.
As the leader, you have to go first, model it, and be consistent about it. Invest in relationships with your people, show up, and seize the teachable moments. By “seize the teachable moments,” we mean to share why what you’re doing is important – why it matters.
At its core, it starts with remembering that every seat in your company is filled with a human. Not a body that’s simply there to execute tasks for the business. An actual human fills each seat … a human with personal challenges, family challenges, personal triumphs, personal passions. Humans have an innate need to be loved and to feel appreciated.
How well do you know your humans?
If you lead a large company, you might say, “well it’s impossible for me to personally know all of my employees … there are hundreds.”
But you can apply this philosophy with your own leadership team … then teach them to do the same, be the same, and care the same about people under their charge.
In Chris Hogan’s famous example, the idea is that you know your people at the most human level and care deeply about them at that level. He says, it’s as simple as looking someone in the eye and asking them how they’re doing. If they say “fine”, but you can see in their eyes that they are not fine, you have the courage to follow up and dive in because you care.
It can be as simple as knowing how many kids they have, what they love to do outside the office, understanding what drives them on a personal level, inquiring and honestly listening when you know there may be personal struggles occurring in their lives. How can you help? How can coach them? How can you mentor them? Human stuff.
As the leader in your business, ask yourself … how well do you really know your humans?
It’s not always about bottom line return on “investment” in business. Real ROI can also stand for “return on interest” and “return on impact.” Try being interested and making an impact at a deeper level. The bottom line will most certainly move in the right direction.
“Good leaders help people get better at their jobs. Great leaders help people get better at life.”
~ Chris Hogan
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!
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