Christmas is one week from today. I can hardly wait. Highlights will be the candlelight service on Christmas Eve; reading the story of the birth of Jesus on Christmas morning; watching my three buddies open their gifts and getting great hugs from them all; then, Christmas dinner. My wife, Dottie, makes the best dressing in the world. If that was all we had to eat—I’d be happy (well, maybe a little pumpkin pie thrown in).
Giving gifts is a big part of Christmas, but for authentic leaders it should be a big part of leading all year long. A leader can play Santa every day by giving the…
Gift of Appreciation
Philosopher William James once said that the need to be appreciated is at the core of the human personality. What are you doing to show those you lead that you really appreciate them?
Gift of Listening
“…listening is probably our greatest opportunity to give attention to others on a daily basis and convey how much we value them” (from The Servant by James C. Hunter). Don’t forget—authentic listening and just hearing are not the same thing.
Gift of Freedom
There isn’t much worse than being in bondage to a controlling boss—every decision, large and small, reviewed and approved with an “I know best” spirit. Give the gift of freedom. Quit being a boss and start being a leader!
Gift of Honesty
There are a lot of dimensions to honesty, but the greatest gift a leader can give is honesty about self. Be transparent, admit it when you are wrong, and don’t pretend you don’t have any weaknesses.
Gift of Patience
Anger, finger pointing, outbursts, revenge seeking, punishing and wounding have no place in any organization. The leader sets the tone. Do you have a spirit of fear and reticence in your organization? It’s probably your fault.
What’s the greatest gift a leader has ever given you? Let me know.
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
Hearing that a former employer had made positive comments about me in a public setting was a valuable, extremely encouraging gift. Being gracious with and/or taking a legitimate interest in the well-being of those who’ve worked for you may not produce any short-term financial benefits, but can be true gift of great value to the recipient.
Looking back, this same individual did a great deal to either teach or help me expand much of the skill set that I use today. When leaders help those who work under them to learn and grow, again the impact can be extremely positive and lasting for the recipient. It truly is a valuable, precious gift.
The greatest gift a leader gave to me was confidence in me. He gave me a task to do and the resources to do it. He touched base occassionally, and consistently bragged about the program he asked me to start. The more confidence he gave, the more I felt. And task was a success.