Leadership is just plain hard. A leader is expected to hold people accountable for results, but also support their development. Leaders can fail by becoming too chummy with their team or by alienating them. It us truly a balancing act that is definitely more glamorous in books than reality.
Leadership is complicated because people are complicated. People are motivated in various ways making leadership even more complex. There are those needing near constant direction while others work better with autonomy. The key to better leadership doesn’t lie in better performance management processes or robust development programs. It is recognizing that leadership is inherently personal and aligning our actions with this realization.
What does this mean? We must prioritize connecting with those we lead on a personal level. We must allow the pressure we feel for results to be tempered by the fact that results will not come without people. People are not a resource to be consumed. They have their own hopes, dreams, and desires outside of our organization. They want to feel valued and appreciated by their leader. We must never in our haste for results or efforts to please our customers lose sight of those who make it possible. The intense drive for results without consideration of our most valuable resource will most certainly keep us from ever attaining them.