Put More Heart into Your Leadership to Encourage, Mentor, and Inspire

 In Team Performance

Great leaders are in tune with the needs of the organization. They know how to match those needs with the strengths of their people so they become the best to help the team be the best.

When I think about leaders who inspired me the most, there is one who stands apart. I once reported to a managing director who we called Dude. He was more of a mentor to me than a boss.

Dude was a leader that managed to hearten me even in the darkest of times. And believe me there were some moonless nights.

He had a special way of making me go all-out, get things done, and achieve things beyond my wildest dreams.

For years I’ve been wondering how Dude inspired me so much.

Now that I’ve coached hundreds and hundreds of leaders for more than a decade, I’ve reflected on what made Dude so special. Here is what stands out.

3 Leadership Lessons Straight from Dude

1.  Be Encouraging

It is the encouraging leader that shows you an emboldening move is always a possibility. Because when they acknowledge you personally for your specific contributions, it is worth everything.

2.  Be Uplifting 
Even when you’re clearly wrong, make an awful mistake, or miss your milestones, it is the uplifting leader who makes sure you know you’re still of absolute value. They demonstrate that elevating others when they appear lost is a worthwhile endeavor.

3.  Be Cultivating
It’s the cultivating leader who demonstrates that throwing the least of us a lifeline is worthy. Maybe it’s great advice. But more often, it is a simple smile. A small gesture of kindness. A quick note that you save forever. The best show you that by pulling people up, the entire team moves together more nimbly. And that shutting people down only discourages and disheartens (because who knows who’s next).

Dude led by example and inspired greatness. He understood how to balance a positive state of mind with a positive state of action. He believed in making personal connections and had an uncanny sense of what people needed at just the right moment to keep moving forward.

That’s the essence of what great leaders do.

Take it straight from Dude. Follow his three steps to make your own leadership more personal, generous, and thoughtful.