I am not talking about the office romances in the way you are thinking but I am truly going to ask you to think about leading from a style of love. I grew up in the human resources field and for years I cautioned leaders about getting too close to their employees, not to become too friendly. It was important that leaders separate themselves and keep a safe distance from their team. Boy what I have learned since those words! Now I can openly say that advice is hogwash and outdated!
It is impossible for any leader to truly lead if they are too far away from their team. Think about your role as a parent for a few minutes. As a parent you guide, you coach, you teach, mentor, redirect, scold, correct, all from very close proximity. The goal of parents is to have their kids become independent and successful. While the leader’s role is not exactly that of a parent it has many similarities. Read the line again with just two word changes: As a leader you guide, you coach, you teach, mentor, redirect, scold, correct all from a very close proximity to have your team become independent and successful! The sentence works in both situations.
So why do I say you should include love in your leadership style? Let’s define love for a minute: Love is acceptance, compassion, tolerance, endurance, support, faith and it should be unconditional. When you coach, teach, mentor etc. you need to have love to execute that effectively.
I can hear all the human resource professionals and the lawyers gasping as I write this. I understand their concerns. There are those who will blur the line and cross it in an inappropriate way . Here is the newsflash - those who cross the line will be the ones who do it anyway! But the leaders who want to make a transformational change in their team and organization need to practice love in the work place! So how does a leader translate acceptance, compassion, tolerance, endurance, support, faith into the workplace? Let's make it simple L.O.V.E –
L Leadership through Relationships
O Openness – Vulnerability
V Vision, Connecting
E Empower and Equip
All Leaders need to Lead. I often get confused when I hear leaders say I try to follow the lead of my team. Just wrong.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
John C. Maxwell
Leaders should be setting the vision, leading the way, and clearing the pathway for their followers . So you must always be leading. Now here is a word of caution. While you must always be ahead, you don’t ever want to be so far ahead that the team can’t follow. Your team can not follow if they can not see you --- You are the Leader!
Be Open to hearing feedback. Be open to being wrong! Be Open to learning! Be Open to share information, share knowledge, share credit, and be transparent with both good news and not so good news. Followers should never be left guessing, or fearful of what they don’t know. Share the vision openly and often, share the progress towards goals routinely, get and give feedback both formally and informally.
Vision! To follow others need to know where they are going. A leader paints the picture - sets the Vision - to help others follow easily.
Empower the team! You have been leading the employees, and have been open to their suggestions, and feedback. By leading and being open, your team is aligned with the vision and now you are ready to give them the empowerment to make the vision their own in their area of accountability. Empowerment increases loyalty, engagement, and buy-in to the vision.
Edge-Ward Coaching is ready to help you become a LOVE leader! Contact us today to engage a personal coach.