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Kevin Nolan

When I think about leadership, I think about two things — Empathy and Vision. I think why would anybody do what I ask them to do? Why would I give orders and others would follow them? How come some people lead others? Is it that they are smarter than others? Am I smart enough to lead others? Dale Carnegie said, “ Create in others an eager want”. If you can get someone to want to do, what you want, because it’s what they want- That’s leadership; you have to lead them to do what you want.

Empathy

Ok, no one wants to make me rich. Everybody is working on their own plan to make themselves rich. I know, it’s a lot of talk about “wants”. To the point, though, I have to include Zig Ziegler’s quote, “You can get whatever you want if you can help others get what they want.” How do you know what someone wants? ASK them; listen, understand, empathize. Think about how you can help your workers, kids, spouse, customers, vendors, coworkers get what they want. They’re struggling with life’s challenges. They have good days and bad. Help them.

The point here is if you are going to get what you want (through other people-like your employees), then what “you want” is the following: — your employees to say, “My boss is a good guy. I trust him. He is looking out for me. There is an opportunity for me.” You want your kids to say, “My parents support me. They go out of there way for me every day.” You want your spouse to say… you get the idea.

Vision

What are we doing? Where are we going? What’s next?

The true “Leader” has been thinking hard to come up with the answers to these questions. Not just on the spot, but way ahead of time. Perhaps as he was trying to get to sleep one night. Or maybe at the beginning of the year in the form of a Business Plan. Or maybe every morning, early, before everyone else gets up……Thinking hard about a vision of the day, month, year, a lifetime. People follow people with a vision. Leadership requires vision – knowing clearly where you are headed.

The vision then must be communicated to others. What is the best way to do that? Write it down! Pass it around, read it out loud. Discuss it, debate it, refine it. Get others to be a part of it. A shared vision creates the most effective team possible.

I have lots of other thoughts about leadership. Indeed it is one of the most discussed ideas of the modern world. I didn’t even mention PASSION! …..Next time……

All the best,
Kevin

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