In his book Winning, Jack Welch lists his eight leadership principles.
I won't repeat them here, but as I was reading these for my Jack Welch MBA Leadership class and writing about them, I realized that most of them were about the people.
Yes, part of the principles were about succeeding (e.g., ask probing questions that lead to action, be brave enough to make necessary unpopular decisions, and inspire risk taking and learning) but most where about doing so via your people (e.g., upgrading your staff with constant mentoring and coaching; celebrating their successes; really getting to know them; and establishing trust with candor, transparency, and credit). This from the man known for his bluntness and doing what was necessary to win.
Jack realized that you can't succeed without your staff. As good as you are, unless they are with you—engaged, productive, and happy—you won't get far for long. And therefore a huge part of your job as their leader is to look out for them and bring them along with you.
If and when they are not in the right position and cannot be coached, you move them elsewhere or out with dignity. But you role model and reward the behaviors you want and you give everyone a voice and dignity.
Both leadership and management are required for success, but leaders inspire and align. Leaders spend time and energy on their people and know that they are the key to their success.
When was the last time your leader inspired you? How did it make you feel?
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