Inspiring Leadership Story
I just finished reading a really good book – “The Power of Nice – How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness.” I would highly recommend it to all leaders.
In the book the authors tell a story of General Dwight D. Eisenhower that I had never heard before, but touched me deeply as a leader and one who regularly blogs about everything leadership related.
The story goes that during World War II General Eisenhower would regularly walk among his troops. One particular day he noticed a young soldier who seemed quiet and depressed.
“How are you feeling, son?” he asked.
“General,” he said, “I’m awfully nervous. I was wounded two months ago and just got back from the hospital yesterday. I don’t feel so good.”
The authors of this wonderful book state, “Many generals would have tried to buck up the frightened soldiers spirits, saying, ‘You don’t need to be scared. You’ve got the best damn army in the world behind you.’ Instead, Eisenhower said, ‘Well, you and I are a great pair, then, because I’m nervous too… Maybe if we just walk along together to the river we’ll be good for each other.'”
Such humble leaders have no problem with vulnerability because they truly care about those they lead and realize that such vulnerability creates greater trust and more loyal followers. Think about how this young soldier must have felt knowing that this powerful leader not only cared about him individually, but was also willing to share with him that he was nervous as well. Have you ever had such a leader in your life?
General Eisenhower didn’t have to be anyone but himself. He was a leader who cared about every solider individually in deep ways. There is much we can learn about his leadership. In a speech to graduating cadets at the Royal British Military Academy in 1944 he said,
“You must know every single one of your men. It is not enough that you are the best soldier in that unit, that you are the strongest, the toughest, the most durable, the best equipped, technically—you must be their leader, their father, their mentor, even if you’re half their age. You must understand their problems. You must keep them out of trouble; if they get in trouble, you must be the one who goes to their rescue. That cultivation of human understanding between you and your men is the one part that you must yet master, and you must master it quickly.”
How well do you know those you serve? Do you take the time to understand those you lead as individuals. Do you know their wants, desires and aspirations? Do you understand the things that worry them, or the things they fear? Do you talk about their families, hobbies and joys?
Loving each person you lead significantly multiplies the love and loyalty of your team. ~Michael G. RogersClick To Tweet
It doesn’t take much time to care about those you lead; it just takes a cognizant investment in their well being. Loving each person you lead significantly multiplies the love and loyalty of your team. Take the time now leaders 🙂
Question: How do you care about those you lead? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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