Since today, Sunday, 16 June 2013 is Fathers Day in North America; I decided to share a few things I learned about leadership from my father.
I’m pretty sure that my leadership style and whatever I’ve accomplished as a leader throughout my career, can be directly attributed to the lessons I learned from my father. Although he never spoke directly about leadership, I’ve come to understand that he was his character, the way he interacted with people, his gentle guidance and even his reprimands all played a part in shaping my leadership values and skills.
Here are a couple of things I learned about being a leader from my Father:
• Treat everyone with basic human respect, civility and kindness. Leaders must make this a default position in any relationship, whether personal, casual, or business.
• Trust is built on a foundation of honesty, compassion and competence. Leaders must show that truly care about the people that they lead, always tell them the truth, no matter what; and demonstrate that they have the skills to get the job done.
• Building trust often requires leaders to make themselves emotionally vulnerable. Don’t be afraid! Revealing something emotionally significant about to others is scary, but it encourages others to reciprocate. The exchange of vulnerabilities builds important bonds between people that enables better communication of knowledge, ideas, and inspiration.
• Inspire, prepare and support your people, but free them to accomplish things on their own. Leaders must explain the context for action, set the vision and goals, provide guidance when asked, trust people to do the right thing, and help them learn from mistakes. Letting go can be difficult, even painful, but it is the beginning of the path towards wisdom.