Leadership is: Touch

“It’s vital that the monarchy keeps in touch with the people. It’s what I try and do.” – Princess Diana

There are differing thoughts on everything from soda to trucks, so why should leadership be any different? Leadership is such an expansive topic, most of the topics of disagreements run the gamut.

Laura Erskine writes in A Question of Leadership, “some organizations reject the practice of encouraging close emotional relationships between leaders and followers because they believe that the perceptions of special treatment prevent leaders from being effective.” Essentially the argument is that a leader can’t do for everyone so they shouldn’t do for anyone! Andy Stanley (@AndyStanley) addresses this issue in one of his leadership podcast titled “Do for One.” Stanley says, “you should do for one, what you can’t do for all.” If you can’t invest in all of your team members you should at least invest in one of them!

Leaders should be strategically investing in their team members, specifically their direct reports. In a Career Tools podcast titled “Build Your Network,” Michael Auzenne (@mauzenne) and Mark Horstman (@mahorstman) suggest that in order to build and maintain your network you should schedule a specific time to keep in contact with people in your network. So why should it be any different with your team members? Leaders can’t meet with everyone, but they can meet with those who need your input and direction the most.

Leaders lead by reaching out first.

When keeping in touch with team members leaders must remember 3 things:

1. Leaders must be close enough to touch them: This doesn’t mean in proximity, this means they must be emotionally close! Career Tools had a great hack for this, when you communicate with someone, save a note about what was said and how their life was going. This way you can recall the information the next tie you meet with them!

2. Leaders must touch their hearts: It would be a mistake if leaders only focused on a team member’s production or work issues. When a leader can connect with a member’s heart, that member will be intrinsically motivated to do more for the organization, because the organization values them.

3. Leaders must encourage them to touch the hearts of other team members: Leaders don’t have the time or the energy to invest in all of the team members; those who are being invested should take that investment and energy and project onto others. This allows a leaders investment to be spread exponentially!

What are some ways you invest in your team member?

What are some ways you’ve been invested in? 

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