Heart-centred Leadership #2 Winning The Right Way

28th April 2014

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A great leader will seek out your talent. Your gifts. And, capacity to do great work. Thats what they do!

Calling and, coaching you to step up. To be all you can be. And in doing, so leaving you astonished by what you’ve achieve.

A couple of weeks ago I caught up with David, a National General Manager. We’d not seen each other for an age. We both agreed, it had been an age too long!

We’d worked together a few years ago. An experience I’d enjoyed, immensely. It was easy to recruit for David. He’s the type of leader you dream of working with, and for.

We shared the new. Work. Home. Family. Talked of highlights since last met. And, then  the conversation turned to leadership, as so often happens when I speak to people about their work.

I asked David, what problems and challenges at work did he think could be resolved, if love were present?‘ Confident I was in for a wise, inspirational and heartfelt conversation, I sat back in anticipation…

He began by stating, ‘I love to win. The right way.’

And continued by speaking of an early manager with great love and respect.

He told of his humility and integrity. Congruency of words, behaviours and actions.

His capacity to listen. His willingness to see a situation from a different perspective.  His patience. Kindness. Preparedness to be vulnerable; not to have to know it all. 

And, how his trust, belief and support had shaped David as a leader. As a human being.

His manager gave him permission to be vulnerable. To be curious and caring. To ask for help. Invest in his learning. And, to to be real. 

This experience enabled David to lead with love. To develop honest, authentic relationships with his people.

David makes it his job, to know his people beyond their job titles and function. To care. He knows their wives’, husbands’, partners’ and children’ names. Their difficulties and celebrations.

And, he calls for results and consistent high performance. Because, that’s his job too!

In this he invests. As if the his team’s and the business’s success depended on it. It does!

David talked about how he counselled and coached under-performers. Of taking time to explore reasons. Context and circumstances that might be contributing to lowered performance.

He talked of ditching, the undignified, futility and inevitability of performance management plans. Where both parties know, and don’t speak of, the most likely outcome. With it’s silent shame and pain and all it ickyness. 

And how, with honest, caring, heart-centred conversations he works with people to identify their strengths and passions. And help them find more closely aligned, career enhancing work. Be it, internally or externally.

This is winning. The right way.

In essence David…

  • seeks first to understand rather than jumping to conclusions
  • looks for, and develops, the best in his people
  • trusts up front, re-evaluating appropriately
  • shows his people what’s possible -engages in their dreams
  • is clear on mission and clear on how his people contribute
  • invites challenges; ideas and alternative ways
  • encourages enthusiasm, passion and fun
  • oozes confidence, conviction and humility
  • confronts underperformance collaboratively, as a shared issue
  • has high expectations and mentors to exceed beyond expectations. Theirs and his!
  • shares his stories. The stuff ups and the successes
  • does what’s right not what’s easy
  • celebrates. praises. rewards.

And, with words and actions congruent, David is supporting, inspiring, caring and ethical.

Not surprisingly, David creates and retains high performing teams.

His people love him. Work hard for him. Stepping up to astonish in good times. And hard times. Without complaint.

This is winning. The right way!

Note: David , joined by three previous peers, still have lunch with their old leader. 10 years on.

This is love at work in action.