Leading with Love: Three Things to Remember

It is time, yet again, for me to transition to a new position. I felt a sense of deja vu, and thought to myself that there are some leadership lessons that are important to reflect on as I prepare to take on a new leadership role. Here are three things leaders do to create a sense of safety, caring and unity.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Teddy Roosevelt

  1. Create a sense of safety.

How do you do that? Be humble, be vulnerable, and let them know it is OK to make mistakes! If you make a mistake admit it. Let them know it was not your best decision, that you will do better next time, and move on. When your team sees you owning your mistakes then it lets them know if they make a mistake it will be OK. This unleashes creativity and innovation on your team. It makes work fun and energizing. It brings your team together and lets everyone see no one knows everything, and you don’t have to!

2. Let them know you truly care.

How do you do this? By getting to know them professionally and personally. Knowing their kids names and spouses names. Remembering that their child had a birthday and asking how the celebration went. Allowing time in your meetings to let everyone share personal celebrations (or sorrows). Knowing your team professionally is also very important. Do you know their strengths? Do you know how they prefer to be recognized? Do you know how they prefer to work through team projects? How much freedom (or assistance) they need?

3. Create a Unified Team

How do you do this? By understanding that there are two jobs you have as a leader as you manage your teams. The first is to work with your team to get the job done. The day to day work. Most of us are pretty good at that. We know what our work is and we empower our team to get it done. The second is a little harder. This is where the unity comes in. It is to get better at working as a team. You can do this by reflecting with your team. What are things you are good at in terms of efficiency and teamwork? What are the struggles? Does everyone pull their weight? Can you have transparent conversations about that? Once you determine the pain points you can set a goal for that area and deliberately work on it. Set aside five minutes at the end of your meetings to reflect on the process you used. Take it one step at a time. You will see this truly leads to a more unified team.

I take these lessons with me as I leave my team that I love beyond measure. They have become a part of my family, and I will miss them more than they know. I look forward to creating a new family with my new team. I know I will learn many more leadership lessons with them. How do you lead with love? I’d love to hear about it!!

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