Leadership – What It Is and What It Isn’t

There are likely more articles, books, blogs and seminars pertaining to Leadership than any other subject. In addition to our formal education and training as a leader, we have learned leadership traits from mentors, bosses, and other leaders over the years; we’ve learned what aspects of leadership we admire, and consider motivating and successful, AND...WHAT ASPECTS WE DON’T.

As a leader, leadership is not about you. Leadership is about those you serve and support, those you impact around you.  I’ve learned over my career that command and control may yield short term gains in performance, and in emergent situations may be needed. However, if the goal is to create and sustain a high performing, forward thinking and dynamic organization and one that attracts the best talent, managing through fear and intimidation will not cut it. Relationships, trust, loyalty and truly caring about people, will build a resilient, loyal, high performing organization.

What will cut it? Employees and leaders want to be part of a winning team, a team they can trust and who trusts them, a team that sticks together, a team that is empowered and empowers, and a team that is loyal to the organizational and industry mission. This cannot be achieved unless it starts at the top. Make no mistake, trust, support, loyalty and empowerment do not take the place of accountability, driving results, and constantly raising the bar to improve, compete, and grow.

Like working on your short game in golf, it takes time and great patience, and you could argue, more skill. It can be painstaking at times, but it pays off BIG in the long run, if you do it….

Unless the foundation of supporting and growing your teams, building trust and loyalty, and moving the spotlight from yourself to your teams is ingrained in the culture, and is a non-negotiable expectation you set for yourself and your leaders, results will not be sustained. Let your leaders lead and fully support them along the way. You’ll see amazing results.

Do you want your team to work for you out of enormous respect and pride, or out of fear?  It’s easy to take a command and control approach, it’s much harder to invest time in genuine relationships, and loyalty to your team. How leaders make people feel is incredibly important. In healthcare, we cultivate, expect, and promote care and compassion in taking care of our patients, why would our approach to leadership be any different?  

What type of culture do you want to develop, be part of, be proud of, and be known for?