Authentic and Caring Leadership
Earlier this year, I wrote a Comanche Marketing article titled “The Transformational Leader.” I spoke about John Maxwell’s leadership training organization and the problems its students experienced. Leaders who had undergone comprehensive leadership training were not making an impact. Maxwell’s leadership team asked, “What did we miss?”
After much discussion and debate, they arrived at this conclusion: The training they had done was educational but not transformational. By just giving leaders training, they do not automatically make an impact and do not automatically become transformational in the lives of others.
Of leaders who make a difference, Maxwell, channeling John Quincy Adams, says,
If your actions inspire people to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a transformational leader. You influence people to think, speak, and act in ways that make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.
Why aren’t you learning? Why aren’t you onboard?
Did you ever have an instructor or boss who was condescending, arrogant, and/or indifferent? What is the likelihood that you’ll learn in that class? What is the likelihood of a productive relationship with that manager?
Not likely. And it’s easy to see why.
But what about the instructor or leader who, on the surface, is sociable, interesting, and even nice? These are obligatory actions. They begin in the brain and not in their heart. The motivating force for people like this has nothing whatsoever to do with you. It’s about them and how they treat teaching and/or leading as a means to an end – namely, to put a coin in their pocket. It’s just a job.
There is, however, a type of instructor and or leader who does get results. Let’s revisit another Comanche Marketing article I wrote towards the end of last year and a real-life example of a true leader making a difference for others: Chuck Morales.
“Chuck changed my life! He instills a passion for the industry through education. And now as a teacher myself, I try to do the same!” – A former student of Chuck Morales
I interviewed a handful of Chuck’s students and every single one of them said something similar to “he made a difference in my life!” Furthermore, these technicians have advanced their profession and craft. Chuck not only made a difference in their hearts, they remembered his lessons.
Whether Chuck is teaching a class, working a trade show, or talking to an interviewer by phone, he is genuine, authentic, and inspirational. And he cares…a lot! It’s an emotion that you can feel.
Most of us have this kind of detector
People know when teachers and leaders are authentic, caring, and sincere. And they know when you act and behave one way and your words say something else. The common and not so scientific term for this is B.S. Detector. If your behavior is not conducive to their growth and development, a snowball will survive longer at the equator than they’ll pay attention and learn from you.
As for leading, you see that snowball lasting for days while they have to live and work in the dry spot of your illusion.
Blast to your past
Think back on your own life. You remember the people who not only made a difference but what their message actually was. I had an accounting teacher who cared. It was over 45 years ago. She was super diligent when it came to business etiquette and procedures. I still remember the proper way to fold a business letter and which way to insert it into an envelope.
And perhaps more importantly, the remnants of her intellectual earnestness are not as strong as her will, which is still in my heart and mind, to proceed with diligence, rigor, and care.
It’s who they are
Ordinary teachers teach. Ordinary managers manage. And ordinary leaders lead. It’s what they do. Extraordinary folks like Chuck Morales, who passionately care and strive to make a difference in other’s lives, teach, manage, and coach too. The difference is that it’s not only what they do, it’s who they are!
If you are authentic, if you care, and if your actions inspire others, you too can make a difference in someone else’s life! And if you combine this with high-level business acumen, your snowball will not evaporate and you’ll not experience the same labor shortages as other contractors do.
Dave Rothacker is an author and specializes in Idea Cultivation for Go Time Success Group.
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