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LEADERSHIP: The Greatest Lesson You'll Ever Learn

Leadership in Life, Relationships, and the Boardroom

What kind of leader do you envision yourself as? You ever think about what leadership is and how one becomes a leader?

Leadership comes down to building a relationship of trust and respect. Some leaders are loud and some are soft. Some leaders micromanage their team while some let their team just do their job and base their assessment of their people on evaluations, job reviews, etc. Some leaders are dictators. Some leaders are arrogant.

Regardless of what leadership style you are or you aspire to be, leadership at any level comes down to two simple questions:

Question 1: Can I trust you?

Question 2: Do you care about me?

Keep it simple. If you want to be liked and respected as a leader you have to be fair, you have to model the excellence you expect of your people. You can’t expect of them what you are unwilling to do of yourself.

You want respect you have to give respect. You want to be trusted? Well then you have to trust your people are going to do the work and do it right. You will show by example. You will lead first and they will follow.

Every day you show up remember the first question people are asking, “Can I trust you?” You have to lead in a way that no matter what your people trust you and trust that you care about them and their overall well-being. Which leads me to that second question they ask, “Do you care about me?” Every day you show up it’s your example. Do you acknowledge your people and show them the respect you’d expect of them? Do you value their work, their time, their being a part of the team?

Respect is earned and it is best earned when your team sees you as a person they trust and a person they know cares about them.

Think of the great leaders and people you’ve respected in your own life. Who are they? What characteristics of leadership did they possess? Do you possess the same leadership qualities in yourself that you respected in those you respected as your leaders?

Don’t try too hard to be a leader. Just model the leadership of people who have great leadership qualities you’ve respected and always remember that every day you are answering two questions:

Question 1: I can be trusted by my people and I show them they can trust me.

Question 2: I care about my people and I show that I care in my words, my actions, and I model that behavior.

So, whether you are a corporate CEO, a high school athlete who is a captain of a team, the PTA president, the principal of school or superintendent, it doesn’t matter. This also applies in relationships. Whether you are a mother to a child or a father to a child. Parents to their children. Coaches and teachers to athletes and students. Best friends and friends. High School seniors to the underclassman.

These two questions are paramount in your success as a leader in all aspects of life and leading others.

Our job as leaders is to gain the respect and trust of our people. If we do it right we will have a group of people that give respect and are willing to do more than expected because they trust in their leader and they respect their leader. All because our leader is one who shows they care about their people and they trust their leader has their best interest at heart.

Leadership isn’t about your resume. It’s not about your ego. It’s about building a team. It’s about creating a successful relationship and leading people effectively and nothing is more important than the basic fundamentals in relationships.

Lead now with a new purpose.

Jeff Yalden is a mental health motivational speaker who specializes in working with school communities and building relationships. Visit www.TheJYF.org for speaking engagements.