When you think about leaders and all the hats they wear, one may wonder what the most important hat is. However, there is likely no single answer. Every follower (or employee) needs something different from a leader. One may need a leader who gives lots of feedback and helps monitor performance regularly, while another may prefer one who leaves them alone and only checks in on occasion. Perhaps the most essential function a leader must fulfill is versatility. But in order to accomplish this, a leader must know – really, deeply understand – his or her employees. With an understanding of each individual employee – the work they do, their goals and aspirations, their talents, their weaknesses, and even a bit about their personal lives – a leader can adapt their behaviors, actions and reactions to each individual.
Driving (although I dislike that word) business to success is best done through the authentic, genuine leadership of human beings. Leaders who really care about the people following them tend to produce better results and retain people longer. So, I put it out to you… what’s the most important thing a leader can do for you? Leaders, pay attention to the responses that may ensue. And if you are a leader… feel free to answer the same question – because, unless you are a CEO of a major corporation… you report to someone! Then again… even CEOs “report” to the Board of Directors and indirectly back to every employee right? So you CEOs can weigh in too if you’d like!