I was on social media this morning and came across something that bestselling leadership author Jon Gordon said, “I’m convinced that the two biggest keys for leading others are love and accountability, but to have accountability love must arrive first.” And I completely agree with Jon. In fact, without love, you won’t have the courage to effectively lead and hold others accountable.
It takes courage to hold people accountable. It takes courage to give honest constructive feedback on an employee’s performance. If there is no love in leadership, there won’t be improvement, because leaders won’t care enough to be honest with those they lead.
Why are some not honest and provide the kind of helpful feedback that would change an employee’s performance, which could have a positive change in their life as well? In most cases, it’s because these leaders are uncomfortable giving difficult feedback that might not be received well. As a result, they avoid the difficult conversations.
But when we love those we lead, we lead with courage, because we really care. It doesn’t mean we like to have the difficult conversations, but we have them anyway because we truly care about those we lead. Would you share with a son, daughter, or significant other something that you knew would make a difference in their life regardless of how they would receive what was shared? I believe most people would say yes. Would you share that with an employee? Actions speak louder than words, don’t they? Are you having those kinds of conversations with those you lead today? If you aren’t, it’s because you don’t care enough.
What I am saying may not resonate with all of you (though I hope it will with most), but I really believe it is true. The more you love those you lead, the better leader you will be. I always like to say that when leaders lead from the heart, they will have the hearts of those they lead.
It’s simple, leading with love means having more courage to love those you lead!
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