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Who do you follow on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? It’s easy. Peoboss-or-leader_k-hfple who have something you want. People you think have something to say that you can use. Someone going where you want to go. In short, someone you respect.

People will enthusiastically follow and work more energetically with (not under) leaders they respect. Leaders earn respect by demonstrating a clear sense of direction based on a strong, ethical, and inspiring vision for the future. A leader rather than a boss.

People observe authorities in action and decide whether they are honorable leaders or bosses who simply must be obeyed. Can they trust this person to make decisions for the good of the organization in the direction of its goals and in alignment with its vision? Or does he or she make self-serving, self-aggrandizing decisions?

People Follow Attitude

In addition to what they do, leaders and bosses differ in their attitudes about the people they direct. The ascent from boss to leader begins with how you see the people who report to you.

How a Boss Sees People

  • People avoid work and seek comfort and security
  • I have to take charge, maintain control, and stay on top of the people I direct
  • Threats and punishment are indispensable management tools
  • Naturally lazy, people shun responsibility and want to be told what to do

With an attitude like this, it’s no surprise that bosses get work done by means of coercion.

How a Leader Sees People

  • People embrace work as a natural and fulling part of life
  • With clear direction, people will achieve objectives
  • Proper rewards gratify people and inspire commitment
  • Naturally ambitious and creative people seek challenging responsibilities

Intimate Leaders Engage People

Just as customer intimacy has extended expectations for today’s leading corporations, Leadership Intimacy has become a mainstay of the best and most sought after leaders in our current marketplace. As cited in Harvard Business Review, “While companies pursuing operational excellence concentrate on making their operations lean and efficient, those pursuing a strategy of customer intimacy continually tailor and shape products and services to fit an increasingly fine definition of the customer.” (Treacy and Wiersema)

Exceptional leaders apply many of the proven principles of customer intimacy beyond their customer base—extending to their colleagues, staff, and business associates—and creating a higher form of leadership intimacy that builds trust, appreciation, and a desire for Hight Commitment and High Performance throughout an organization.

When you approach any leadership challenge with these attitudes, you’re off to a productive start. Learn more about the next level in my paper Leadership Intimacy Primer. If you agree that Leadership Intimacy is what you need to empower your team, email me or join other leaders in our next CoachQuest Leader-as-Coach Workshop.


Helanie Scott
Helanie Scott
Helanie (pronounced yeh-LAH-nee) Scott, CEO and founder of Align4Profit in Dallas, Texas, has driven stunning leadership and cultural transformations for an impressive list of organizations. She has mastered the ability to connect with her audiences in the boardroom, classroom, on stage, or in one-on-one coaching sessions. Helanie’s Align4Profit clients rave at the way her engaging programs freshen outdated mindsets and deliver results-oriented, aligned action.