Who do you follow on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter? It’s easy. People 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?
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
With an attitude like this, it’s no surprise that bosses get work done by means of coercion.
How a Leader Sees 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.