Your Power as a Leader

Years ago, I had a very difficult boss. One-on-one he wasn’t a bad guy. He was warm and likable. But in a group—particularly in meetings—he become another person. Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde.

Newton’s Cradle with One Ball About to Be Dropped - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/TommL, Image #17094436

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/TommL

He would suddenly become cold and aloof. If I, or someone on my team, reported good news, he either didn’t acknowledge it or quickly dismissed it.

“Okay, we get it. You had a great month. Can we move on?” he would snap.

If we confessed bad news, he would begin his interrogation. He would bludgeon us with questions, one after another. He often asked the same question more than once, wearing us down and sucking the life out of us. We would leave these meetings depleted and discouraged.

I was very much aware of the impact he had on me. I vowed I would never lead this way when I got promoted.

As leaders, we possess more power than we think. But we can only use it for good if we understand it and embrace it. We need to remind ourselves of these four leadership realities:

  1. People are aware of our role. As much as we may want to be “just one of the troops,” our people can’t separate us from our role in the organization. Even if it’s only subconscious, they know we can advance, hold back, or derail their careers. This colors their perception and interactions with us.
  2. People notice our behavior. This is easy to forget. When I was just beginning my career, I noticed how my boss treated his assistant, whether or not he was punctual to meetings, and what he did when he was angry. So did my colleagues. We often spoke of it to one another. We noticed the most trivial details.
  3. People amplify our words and actions. This is the scary part. We may think we are just being firm, but our people see us as angry. “He chewed me out,” she reports to her friends. Or we ask a question, and our people interpret this as a lack of trust. Everything gets dialed up a click or two.
  4. People create stories to explain our behavior. This is just human nature. We inherently try to see the patterns behind the facts and create meaning. Sometimes we get the story right; often we get it wrong. Regardless, we knit together the facts and create narratives to make sense of our world.

As leaders, we don’t need to resist these truths. Instead, we need to be intentional with our words and actions, aware we are constantly modeling what we believe and expect. It’s not unlike parenting. More is caught than taught.

This is a challenge but also a great opportunity.

Questions: What impact do you want to have on others? How do you want them to feel after their interactions with you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    Great post! I want my team to feel energized after their interactions with me. One way I work towards that is by treating them the way I want them to treat me. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s what I want to. Treating others like we want to be treated is always a good plan. Thanks, Joe.

  • http://twitter.com/xpastoronline Kevin M. Stone

    Definitely true! This has been my experience as well. As leaders we must be constantly aware of these realities and use them to increase our effectiveness!

  • http://www.inpowermoms.com/ Jen Ohrman

    The perfect post for me today as I plan a brief training for a group of aspiring leaders…including a few who are in need of learning to lead from love..not fear! I appreciate your comments and perspective Michael…and thanks Twitter for leading me to you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Jen. Welcome. I’m glad we connected.

  • Pingback: The Creation Conundrum « Cyberquill

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Team interactions can be a positive experience or a negative one. When I’ve been on a team with a positive attitude we have always moved forward, even though the obstacles could be overwhelming at times. I’ve also been on teams where negativity ruled. It was like everyone had some dread disease. Every time we would get together we would get sicker and sicker. While team dynamics vary, having a positive leader is the key to success.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      So true. Leadership is really everything.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I had a boss who used to say there are 3 ways people can leave a meeting: motivated, frustrated or ticked off.  He always tried for motivated.

    I also learned when I was not one of the boys any more, my sarcasm had a lot more sting.  I had to temper my natural tendency to make a sarcastic comment. What I thought was a harmless joke had a lot more power to hurt than it did when I was with a peer group.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      I have the same problem with sarcasm and I have to stop it!  I see it as funny at the time, but can easily see the sting when I look back later. 

      Thanks for the reminder, Dave!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I like your bosses intention. I aim for that as well.

    • http://gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

      I love the way you described the feeling we may have after a meeting, Dave.

      I read somewhere  that the harmless jokes are really harmless as long as we make a conscious decision to make fun of ourselves. As soon as the joke targets others, it may harm and in most cases it does. 

  • Wendykeytv

    Great post, I can’t wait to open my email when I see it’s you :) The impression that I want to leave on my employees and fans is that I am an humble person. It may sound weird but there are times when I purposley dress down or poorer than what I am. It really helps me to connect and see those around me in a different view. I’m usually the well dressed professional in heels. I have noticed that people are less uptight around me if I don’t dress too well.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      True humility is essential.  It is impossible to truly care for others without humility. 

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    So true, rightly or wrongly many people dissect leaders under a microscope… we’re always on stage, if you will. Simple things get magnified…

    If we can learn from our mistakes and continually focus on self-improvement, many shortcomings can be resolved.

    One thing I notice about this post is how important it is to keep your team filled with like-minded people… those that, no matter our own personal deficiencies, will keep focused on the vision and betterment of the whole… that, along with being energized as Joe Abraham stated already in comments, would be a desired outcome of all interactions!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      One apple can spoil the whole bunch?

      • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

        Yea, perfect Jeremy! Sometimes that is so very true…

        Maybe we can inspire the bad apples along the way as well :-)

  • http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com/ Ann Musico

    I’m not a business leader per se since I am a solopreneur.  However, I have worked jobs and I can strongly relate to what you shared about that boss.  I just recently had one like that (on steroids!!!) in a part time job recently.  From what I have experienced and what people tell me – I feel I am approachable and that is how I want to be.  Maybe that is from having raised 3 children – I always wanted them to feel comfortable approaching me about anything – good or bad.  I’ve had to work on my reactions over the years in some instances but it was definitely worth the effort.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Being aware of, and then working on, reactions is huge. It took me a long time to realize my face was doing things I wasn’t aware of. ;)

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Me too. My business partner sat me down one time and explained this to me. It was difficult to hear but good to know.

  • http://twitter.com/LetsGrowLeaders letsgrowleaders

    I do think “people create stories’ to explain behavior.  At first they will be generous, and they become less so over time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      So true. They start out giving you the benefit of the doubt. But if you abuse it, they assume the worst.

  • Maoojelabi

    This is a great post, and a very correct presentation of regular experiences between the Boss and the junior colleague. I think we just have to be who we are, no matter what, as long as we are truthful, honest and sincere about it. Though mostly look like a pulling down, I guess it usually end up as a required gruelling session for the next king to inherit the throne.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    I trained under a surgeon that was like this. Outside of the operating room he was the most gracious person I had ever met. Generous with both time and money. But then, once you stepped into the operating room, he was the most demanding person I ever worked with. I was scared to death. I struggled not because I didn’t understand what he wanted me to do, but because I was constantly afraid of how he would respond if it wasn’t perfect. And so it never was.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That would have to be tough Jeremy. I wonder if the person was struggling with a deeper issue.

  • Moirad

    I want people to know I care about them as people, and to know that I will always be honest.  I believe we don’t always realize the impact we have on people we lead.
    I had a laugh at the piece. I had a boss a couple of years ago who suddenly underwent a personality change. The only way I coped was to ask myself each morning “Will I be dealing with Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde today?

  • Tim Peters

    Great post.

  • anita

    I want each one on the team to feel an integral part of the whole.  I want them to understand that while there will always be SOP and standards expected, that my job as their leader is to help them work effectively – to facilitate them in accomplishing our mission statement.

    • Rachel Lance

      Great approach, Anita. I worked for someone who viewed her role of department head as that of a “way maker”. She relied on the expertise of each team member and put her efforts towards clearing the way for us to be most effective. Best work experience ever! 

      • Teresaygreen

        I love the idea of a “way-maker”. That is a perfect definition of a leader’s role.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cmoalliance Anthony Ally

    The best way I have ever experienced what it means to be a leader , has been to always recall the most powerful and greatest leader of our time getting down on his knees and washing the feet of even the disciple he knew was about to betray him. And he said: Learn of Me. I am meek and humble. You are not greater than I. Go and do likewise. In this act, I am revealing to you the greatest of all Mysteries in Leadership.

    He could have wiped us off the planet with a word, but instead He came to reveal the depth of Mysteries of Life, through humble obedience. As a prayer warrior wrote long ago: ”
    “The soul would never be able to reach out toward the knowledge of God if God did not allow Himself to be touched by it through condescension and by raising it up to him. Indeed the human mind as such would not have the strength to raise itself to apprehend any divine illumination did not God Himself draw it up, as far as it is possible for the human mind to be drawn, and illumine it with divine brightness”. Maximos Confessor –Knowledge (31) ”

    Some more notes on this from ancient Christian authors like Chrysostom & Maximos via 
    http://g21partners.com/the-greatest-leader-of-all-time/ 

    humbly in ChristAnthony

  • http://billtontzjrmd.com/ Bill Tontz

    Wonderful comments.  Especially in today’s world it is so important to recognize that leadership begins at home. 

  • Cindy Sproles

    Excellent post. If we would all simply remember the golden rule…treat others the way WE WANT TO BE TREATED. I hope at the end of the day, I have left others feeling positive. I’m not perfect. Who is? But I do try and make the effort to be the positive in the day.

    • Donna Coleman

      Cindy, I disagree with the Golden Rule as you put it.  I feel that we should treat people the way that they want to be treated.  To treat them as I would like to be treated centers the response on me and not the other person.  For instance, some people like to visit people when they are ill or in the hospital because that is what they feel shows caring.  They don’t consider the fact that some people are just the opposite and feel that a visit at such a time shows a disregard for their feelings.  I feel that you have to ask people how they want to be treated…make no assumptions based on your own experiences.

      • Rachel Lance

        Interesting thought on being a student of character. Definitely a leadership practice not to be overlooked. 

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Cindy, the world would look drastically different if all of us followed the Golden Rule. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s what it all boils down to Cindy. Funny how we all want to be treated well but are unwilling to do the same for others.

  • http://twitter.com/jryan48 Jim Ryan

    I hope people feel like they were really heard, without being judged. Then I hope they fealt like they got a totally honest reaction from me.

    Thanks, now I have something to work on this week.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Great point. People want to be heard. Not just endured, but truly listened to.

  • Janet I Mueller

    Great post Michael. It’s important that they feel respected, encouraged, inspired and know that I care about them and value their idea’s and contributions. I want them to feel appreciated, stretched and proud of their accomplishments. To have the confidence and a belief within themselves they can achieve higher levels of performance because I see them as a TEN. To be their partner, along side them helping them to achieve success.

    • http://www.wevival.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      Want to be my boss? Believing that your staff can be a TEN is incredibly powerful. 

      • Janet I Mueller

         I’d be honored to partner Jason thank you. A mentor of mine once said people have a habit of proving you right either way, people will only rise as high as you believe they can, so why not expect the best for them why limit them and their growth potential?

  • http://hortonmarketingsolutions.com/james James Horton

    Great post!  It comes back to the “golden rule” of treat others as we want to be treated, but you add the layer of leadership on top of it.  

    I think key here is the “intentional” leadership that you focus on.  We have to have our own intention clear behind our own actions and push it forward – I think its also important we make sure our intention communicates to our employees, team, or fellow workers.

    I’ve worked with people whose idea of “funny” was biting sarcasm and it was only funny to them, but in discussion they really thought they were funny.  Their intention did not communicate to the rest of the team.  

    Evaluating how we are perceived and being open to feedback as well as focusing on motivating those around you is a great way to improve conditions.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Perception is huge, James.  How do you understand how other perceive you? 

      • http://hortonmarketingsolutions.com/james James Horton

        I think it is largely a matter of being there in the moment.  We all get caught up in multi-tasking, which can lead to having at least three things you’re thinking about in addition to working with the team or others in general.   So now you’ve got four things going on (in example as this is one of my own biggest faults) and you’re not *really* in the moment and paying attention to the now going on around you.

        People may not be speaking their thoughts to you, but they are broadcasting them.  Body language, emotional response and feeling are indicators of how they are seeing you.  

        Are they stand offish?  Are they warm and open?  Are they smiling or are they very serious?  Are they making eye contact?

        And failing all this – just ask around.  Do a verbal survey around the office or with your team and encourage them to be honest.  Transparency in leadership can go a very long ways to better communication.

  • http://twitter.com/cupojoegirl Eileen Knowles

    I have had 2 bosses in my life who have taught me so much about how not to treat others and how not to act.   Like you said, their personalities shift drastically depending on what environment they are in.  I would have clients who say, “Oh you must LOVE working for X, isn’t she just great!”  I would smile and nod.  Little do they know ;)   

    This might seem small but as a leader I never want to roll my eyes or walk away from those I lead and continue talking to them with my back turned. It’s rude.  I want to give those I lead my full attention and respect.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I don’t think that’s small at all. I’ve known a couple leaders who would turn and start to walk away in the middle of a conversation, their not-so-subtle attempt to end the conversation. I’m sure it’s because they were busy and needed to get a lot done, but it always had a demeaning effect.

  • Gareth

    Interesting post. I want people to feel inspired and know that they have hope for a brighter and better future. I want them to know nothing is impossible no matter how difficult it maybe. I want them to know that I value them and care about what they are thinking and sharing. I want them to know that what I say I follow through on and i expect the same from them also. I want them to know when I stress a situation of importance, it’s just that very important and it’s not me expressing or venting anger. I want them to know that I expect their very best, because I always give my very best. I want them to know that they have a very good chance to succeed and i am right there with them, I also want them to know that should they fail after they have given it their all, then I am right here to help them and support them while they are getting back up and back on track. I want them to know that I understand struggle and difficult times and I want them to know i have also made many mistakes. I want them to know if they fail it’s best to fail in style with their head held high and their shoulder back and I want them to know that a new challenge is coming their way tomorrow, so they had better be ready. Finally I want them to know that their service is truly appreciated and that there is no one like them on this earth. I want them to know they are wonderfully created and was created to succeed. I want them to keep trying no matter what and I want them to know to never quit when the going gets tough. I want them to know that they are born champions and victory is theirs. 

    Sincerely,
    Gareth 

    • Rachel Lance

      That’s a great approach to leading, Gareth. Surely your energy for building into your team shines through in the energy they bring to their work. 

      • Gareth

        Rachel thanks for your encouraging input, yes i strive to build a great team and allow them to grow and see that they can really make their dreams come true. Treat others how you want to be treated, example if you want to be loved you have to start first by loving others, if you want to prosper, then you must first start  by giving to others, if you want to grow you must allow others to grow you must inspire them motivate them. Positive thinking is a great asset, but a positive attitude is the greatest. 

        have a truly awesome week 
        Gareth
        Ps Enjoy Motherhood

  • chrisjcrosby

    The bullet about role is important. As leaders, its critical to understand the role that you represent to people. Your role as “Boss” will mean different things to each person and carry different meanings with it for each situation your in. Staying dialed into that is the difference between influence and alienation.

  • http://daybreakrun.com/ Joe Filipowicz

    For me, I think the single most important thing I want someone to leave an interaction with me is to simply care.  I hope people see how much I care about the work I do and that perhaps they will do the same (if they don’t already).

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Caring is huge.  Reminds me of the article I wrote for Michael several months ago - http://michaelhyatt.com/a-leader-people-want-to-follow.html  

  • http://gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

    Wow! What an awesome reminder first thing in the morning. Treat others as you like to be treated! Incredible post with very valuable information. Thank you!

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Impact. It is a word that we should all think about. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Brandon – I agree.  I learned quickly as a leader, I will have an impact on people.  In every situation I will impact people.  Either good or bad.  

      • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

        That is true!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I want to make sure people leave our interactions feeling esteemed and valued. Whether it’s an email, phone call or in-person conversation, I see my role as making sure each person feels individually acknowledged and appreciated.

    • ChadMillerBlog

      I’m a big fan of the individual acknowledgement and appreciation. What I struggle with is remembering not everyone responds to the same method of appreciation. For instance, I personally love the fanfare of being in front of a crowd. I’ve learned that some of my team really value the simplicity of a handwritten thank you note or greeting them with a cup of coffee.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        This is true. It is easy to forget and just assume. I am certain;y guilty of that.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        This is true. It is easy to forget and just assume. I am certain;y guilty of that.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        So true. I see these difference within my own family and must adjust my approach for each one. Great reminder, Chad.

  • ChadMillerBlog

    I want people to create stories of integrity and character when they discuss my behavior. I always welcome feedback from my team after a meeting to ensure that my behavior and words were encouraging, even when the topic may not be popular or positive.
    When I can gain candid feedback from my team members, I know I’ve modeled my role as a leader well.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Chad – Great thought.  I find most leaders who solicit and humbly receive feedback are great leaders.  

      • ChadMillerBlog

        Thanks, Tim. It’s a constant learning process and not always easy.

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    I always want my team to leave our meetings pumped up and excited. I would say that happens 85% of the time. Horribe. I know. The good news is that I’m aware, and working on it everyday

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Todd – I have been in plenty of meetings and 85% rate is great.  I typically leave meetings tired and confused.  Keep it up.  

      • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

        Tim, you are too kind.  Thank you for the encouragement.  I need to get a lot better.  As a consultant, I run the risk of losing clients if I stay at 85% for very long.

  • http://www.danezeller.com/ Dane Zeller

    Want to motivate someone who works for you? Easy.  Use these four words: “What do you think?” (Leadership is not a straight path from boss to employee.)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://twitter.com/LisaColonDelay Lisa Colón DeLay

    Relationship and healthy interactions are key!

  • Barbara Cheney49

    Leaders often think it is the “big decisions” that make them leaders. But it is in the small things – how the leader looks at people when they bring “bad” news – how the leader strays off topic or stays on it – how the leader carries himself/herself into the room, both at the beginning and end of the meeting. It also includes how the leader “complains” or not. Does the leader focus on helping others use their talents well as a team? Does the leader remember the mission and relate everything to it, with humor, wisdom and knowledge? Does the leader remember that he/she is the leader and not one of the group but is appointed to care for the group, nurture and hold the group accountable in a way that encourages the group?

    • http://www.wevival.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      A lot of great questions and observations Barbara! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

     I want others to see me as a person who adds value to them and encourages them to reach their full potential. I believe consistency in positive behavior is important if we want to keep our influence.

    Great Post Michael!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherri.hall.982 Sherri Edenfield Hall

    I want to develop a leadership style… much like Michael Hyatt!  Ha!

    I have always been a fan of John Maxwell.  Over the years, I have learned so much through Maxwell’s book and resources (and hearing him speak, etc).  However, presently, I am on a steady diet… learning and growing in many regards (beyond leadership, in fact!) from these powerfully informative posts, podcasts, and, of course, the highly valuable resource… your book, Platform.

    Gotta love your style, Michael Hyatt!

    Thank you, sir, for your wisdom and insight in all of life and living…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words, Sherri. John is one of my mentors and a great friend.

  • http://www.twoblondeboys.com Patrick Callahan

    Fantastic port, Michael. Thank you.

    I experienced a similar situation and made a similar vow to be different. Points 2 and 3 really hit home – people really do notice every little thing about their leaders and really do amplify everything.

    Thanks for these great, practical reminders!

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com/ Cynthia Herron

    What a tremendous post! I would hope folks always see the love of Jesus in me, personally and professionally, and that after our interaction, they’d leave with a smile.

    On another note, loved your “bludgeon us with questions” analogy in your post intro. Wow, what a picture! 

  • genie

    Yes, I, too have experienced being listened to respectfully with great responses on a one-on-one level, only to have ideas offered at team meetings with either no response or a dismissive comment leaving no room for others to comment or discuss.  I often leave thinking “I’m not ever going to offer an idea or suggestion again,” but love our team and work and that resolve never lasts long.  Just wish  leader would be as affirming (even if idea is tossed out) in team meeting as he is in coaching sessions.

  • David & Shelley Hess

    Good Morning, Michael!
    As Christians first, parents close second, and business people third, we want to thank you for your immensely positive life-changing effect on our lives. 

    A short fifteen months ago we knew nothing of you beyond your name, nor Dave Ramsey (though on principle we have lived debt free for many years) or Andy Andrews….. until meeting Robert E. Smith at a conference. 

    Since then we’ve read and listened to (and given) everything of Andy’s and have his regular input.  We’ve ‘eaten up’ such as “Platform”, “Entreleadership” and “Quitter”, and receive your posts, thus having a daily diet of all the best the Lord has to offer beyond His Word! 

    Perhaps MOST significant to us and the focus of this “comment” is to thank you for the privilege it is to forward your brief, purposeful, infinitely useful posts to our 18 year old son Taylor who, by God’s grace, is a progressive, forward thinking, “out of the box”, focused leader who finds himself in an amazing position traveling the world representing the company to whom he has currently contracted himself (graduated 3 years ago). 

    Their product is flight and/or racing (auto) simulators, for which he does R & D, sources/purchases parts on the world market, builds, both mechanical structure and computer, interfaces, ships, and of course, demonstrates.  Miraculously, he’s given very free rein to “do it all”.  With that comes immense responsibility far beyond any eighteen year old.  Enter Christ (this isn’t about Taylor)! 

    This minute in the air enroute Indianapolis for a 3 day trade show, we’re able to forward your current post to him, knowing we’re receive back yet another of his comments such as “Excellent!  Fits.  I’ll wear it!”  Can you picture the value of your almost daily input in the life of that young man? 

    Your reach (the Lord’s reach through your imense knowledge, wisdom and sharing) is beyond your imagination, we’re sure.  Just wanted to expand your imagination by giving you a glimpse of that fact this morning :-)

    Have an awesome day in the Lord!! 

    With Much Gratitude, in Christ,

    David and Shelley Hess

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for your kind words. What an encouragement! Robert is one of the most generous people I know. I am glad that you know him too. Blessings!

  • Tami Meier

    Thanks for asking the questions.
     
    As a woman who longs to please the Lord, I desire to live by the verse found in Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) “ The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” I’ve been in relationships where others have tried to tear down what I’ve built. I’ve learned to move on and continue to build my house, as well as inspire others along life’s way to build their home.  
     
    I want women to feel encouraged as they choose to build their own house and relationships.
     
    Have a blessed day,
     
    Tami Meier

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    On a different note, how did you guys get the cool description out by your name?  Is that new?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I think it is just part of your Disqus profile.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Todd, it’s in your Disqus profile.

      Go to EDIT YOUR PROFILE. Click on PROFILE. Look for SHORT BIO. Fill that out and it should appear.

  • Cherrell Woolley

    I consider that being a leader is a great opportunity to teach. I have experienced a couple of bosses who I consider to have been great mentors. That is how I want employees to remember their interactions with me.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great point, Cherrell!  If we always remember that we’re teaching as we lead, we’ll do a better job of it.

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  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I want to leave those I interact with feeling better than before and empowered to conquer the world. 

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    Two weekends back, #2 and #4 came into play in big ways. My wife organized a successful 3-day fundraiser for our local library. During that time, we had five guests in and out of our home. I found out on Monday how much I’d been under the microscope (some good; some bad).

    #4 came into play when the head librarian didn’t attend any of the fundraiser. I know I began to find reasons, create stories, for her absence. None of them offered a reasonable excuse for her missing a significant event connected to her job.

    She said, “No one will miss me.” She was wrong in a big way.

  • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

    Jesus said it most perfectly when He said, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

    It works in just about every circumstance in life, whether business or pleasure.

  • http://www.robertjacobs.org/ Robert Jacobs

    My goal is for individuals to be inspired after interacting with me. In addition, I want to create an environment that fosters trust and accountability.

    Robert Jacobs
    http://www.robertjacobs.org

  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    I know that the work of Daniel Goleman in the area of Emotional Intelligence has been a big assistance to me in being more aware of those on teams that I am a part of.

    • Jim Martin

      Matthew, I have been helped by Goleman’s work as well.  

  • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

    People do notice our action… great blog.

    I am often too quick to blame others around me for my bad behavior WITHOUT acknowledging that I am also influencing the way that they behave.

    I am not responsible for what others do BUT people without leadership or positive influence will often default to the carnal.

    Myself included.

    I notice this in the context of friendship and even in marriage; we are constantly picking up behavior cues from others. This is why it is important to spur each other on to every good deed… but always out of a spirit of grace lest we become proud.

    Great blog post!

    Geoff Talbot
    Blogging and commenting in only Seven Sentences

    • Jim Martin

      Geoff, great point about blaming others for our own behavior.  You are right, we really do influence the way they behave in spite of not acknowledging this.

      • http://sevensentences.com/ Geoff Talbot

        Thanks Jim!

  • Kay Camenisch

    So true. These are all things that I’ve seen and done, but have never pulled together. Thanks for a great reminder.

  • http://wcwpartners.com/our-blog/ Doug Watsabaugh

    “More is caught than taught” – what an amazing reminder! You would think that as leaders, we’d find it easier to lead by example than force the truths we refuse to adopt ourselves – but great leaders realize that leading great teams evolves after one has done the hard work him/herself. Most of the time, it’s about showing…not telling.

    • Jim Martin

      Doug, you are right about the importance of showing.  For some reason, we often forget this and think we can turn on leadership and then be ourselves when the challenge is over.  People really do see what we are.

  • http://www.healthywealthyfamilies.net/ Hilary Martin, MBA, CFP®

    When I interact with other people, I want to leave inspired and knowing that I see greatness in them. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      I love your tag line/bio, Hilary! An economist and an optimist. We need more economists like you!

  • Carmen

    I want to have a positive impact on others including my children and spouse. I want to be an example, especially for my children to lean into life.  I wanted to say the tough times and the good times but as time goes on some of those tough times were the times that were the best times I learned the most so they were good times. I want to be an example of embracing life with courage and trust in God. I want them to feel empowered knowing that Gods Got This as they say at my church. He has a plan.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Those are great traits to model for your kids!

  • Medard Akankwasa

    I think then I find it necessary for leaders to ask themselves of how they are viewed.

    On creating stories its purely true and these stories can either be true or wrong, so we as leaders Ithink we should still go back and see which story is true why did it happen. this will help us improve because after a story comes resentment in the hearts of those who you lead because they know and have tried to follow your behaviour.

  • Bruce Cross

    Sadly enough, many of us have traveled the road you describe…we vow to not follow in the same footsteps and much like the son of a father, who, perhaps has followed a negative path (alcoholic, abusive, etc.) we throw down the gauntlet and say “I will never be like him in XYZ!”   The same is true in the work relationships you describe. 

    We need role models or become a role model that according to the Philippians 2 model depicting Christ….although God, did not seek equality with God….and became a man meant to serve. 

    I want those with whom I interact to feel welcomed, valued, and cared for….I have work to do! 

    • Jim Martin

      Bruce, I appreciate the last sentence of your comment.  That sentence caused me to reflect on my own behavior.  Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/Chris__Sanchez Chris Sanchez

    Great stuff!

  • http://www.changevolunteers.org/ Change Volunteer

    100% agree! Two-faced leaders are even more disliked in general. And the followers tend to become two-faced in response.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Great point that followers model the leader’s behavior, even when it’s negative!

  • Pierre Quinn

    Thanks for the post. As a leader of a church I am the members to know that I care about them, want/need to learn from them, and that I purpose to walk with integrity. There are challenges. When you say no to an idea or challenge a point people often take it personal. 

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      People taking things personally (in a negative way) is usually either a challenge where they don’t understand the vision (which is an opportunity to cast it) or they disagree with the vision (which is an opportunity to manage them out of the church/organization).

  • http://www.clarityfortheboss.com/ Geoff Reiner

    Hi Michael, 

    Great post and I certainly agree with your leadership realities. Often a disconnect lies between how leaders perceive themselves vs. how they are perceived by their team and this leadership reality is critical to understanding and working through this potential disconnect.

    I interviewed a CEO the other day that shared a great phrase, “Lead as if you have no power.” We spent some time talking about leadership, positional power and vulnerability. I’m wondering what this phrase means to you?

    Thanks again!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Man, I like that quote: “lead as if you have no power.” I often meet young people who say, “I can’t lead because I don’t have the authority.” They are wrong. This is exactly the environment they need if they are going to grow as an authentic leader.

      • http://www.clarityfortheboss.com/ Geoff Reiner

        Yes! So many young people get caught in the leadership = authority mentality, which I think is junk. The best leaders in business are the leaders that surround themselves with great people and ask for help. 

        Anyone can lead. It takes confidence and a willingness to admit you don’t know everything that separates the good leaders from the great leaders. Authority means nothing. 

        Thanks again for your comment Michael. I appreciate the time and effort you take here. 

  • Lynn Hare

    Awesome post.  Humility goes a long way to make up for mistakes we make, too. I’m grateful for co-workers who extend grace and see the heart of leaders, even when things go south.  In addressing individual achievement, I’ve always made it a personal policy to compliment in public, and suggest changes & necessary improvements in private.

    • Jim Martin

      Lynn, what a great point you make.  You are right.  Humility does go a long way toward how we deal with our mistakes and how others see us as well.

  • brad

    Yes, I agree.  It is really true that most of us take it very hard if the boss is “very firm” with us. I remember how it feels to get called into the bosses office and get a “talking to.”I found out the hard way my wife felt just as stressed by me scolding her as I did by my boss scolding me.
    I want people to feel empowered after I talk to them. Positive reinforcement is more powerful than negative for changing people to do better. The Rosenthal study showed that if you think students are doing good, you will treat them like they are doing good and then they will do good. Same with everyone.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Many great truths there, Brad!   Setting positive expectations with positive reinforcement produces positive results!

  • http://johnmarkharris.net/ John Mark Harris

    I think, going along with #4, people are more apt to create a “backstory” in a vacuum. The leader who tries to keep silent on his/her personal life today will be plagued with invention on the part of his/her (soon-to-be former) followers. Don’t go on vacation or even a business trip without telling your people first. Don’t have it as a mystery if you are in or out of the office. The only reason to hide any of this is if you’re not leading, and if people don’t know, they fill-in-the-blanks with the worst. “where’s Susan? What, on vacation again? She’s never in the office! Does the board know?”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with this. Thanks for you comment.

  • http://twitter.com/DanielHarkavy Daniel Harkavy

    Great post Mike.  So many leaders sabotage their influence by not being mindful of how their energy and attitudes impact those around them.  This is why it is so critical for leaders to have a process in the mornings to make sure their heads and hearts are right.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I couldn’t agree more, Daniel. As leaders, we have an awesome responsibility to those we lead.

  • http://about.me/revchadbrooks chadbrooks

    These are all lessons I learned this year. My most current job change moved me from working among excited peers to leading a group of people that were anxious, gun shy and very protective. At times, I contributed to that. Over the last 6 months I have realized the power of much of these without being able to put a finger on them exactly. Thanks for putting them together in a concise way.

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  • http://twitter.com/SoderquistCentr Soderquist Center

    Love point #4. People relate to stories. It humanizes even the most distant and high up leaders.

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    I want people to feel like they have been heard. I’ve been amazed lately with how much practice and energy this takes. Yesterday, I was depleted because of several nights of not getting enough sleep – my listening capacity was depleted as well. I’m finding that being present, and being a listening person means starting with things like rest and prayer.

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    Great post, Michael.  This is the way to live and lead.

  • Nithin

    In answer to your question, I want people to feel like they have been with Jesus after an interaction with me.  That they would feel listened too, understood, comforted but also challenged to step up the challenge.  

    I sometimes think that we leaders (or maybe just me) have to always have the right answer, right direction, be all knowing and that is an illusion that is too hard to keep up.  Yet, if we don’t keep it up then what will our followers, collegues or co-workers think?  Even though to them the problem is obvious, while we are too busy pretending we have it all together.  

  • Enoch

    Thanks, Michael. How sweet to know also that only as we become different people on the inside can we pervade an integrity to others that goes beneath the surface. 

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  • http://www.stephenmelancon.com/ Stephen Melancon

    Really enjoyed this post. The four leadership realities are a great reminder!

    I want to help others realize their true potential. Too many people are held back by fear, society… or who knows what. I strive to inspire action with others through interactions that enable people to achieve at high levels.

    In the end, I really just want to have a positive impact on people’s lives. As leaders, we are here to serve those who follow us.

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  • http://twitter.com/BudgetMindedOrg BudgetMindedOrganics

    Good words to live by.  I was tested one time at work on the use of my words.  I said something that was meant to be a redirection of actions, yet, my words were interpretted as “scolding”.  Not what I meant to do at all.  Thanks for opening my perspective.  I will take that extra moment to think before opening my mouth.

  • http://twitter.com/RayCullins Ray Cullins

    test

  • ButchHoward

    Michael:
    There is one more factor in play here. Because of their power, leaders often don’t have anyone willing to provide genuine feedback. Fear overrides. Everyone knows but the leader.
    The leader continues in the mire…
    So, be sure to encourage someone to pull you aside and let you know what you need to change, before the fall…

  • dwhitf

    just thanks  88′ Grad

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  • Hannelise Bester

    I want people to think I’m a great person.  That I care about them, not just when I’m dealing with them, but all the time, even when I’m not around.

    I don’t like it when someone tells you that they believe in people getting in what they are worth, and then not living up to their own words.  They might have kept it for themselves.

    I love making people believe they are wanted, needed, loved.  I love encouraging people, helping them, giving them incentives, even if it’s just a pat on the back and telling them they are great.  :)

    I love this post!  I hope it gets to the people whom really needs to read it.  :)

  • Bob Whittemore

    Mastering the art of “transferring positive energy” to others is critical for a Leader.  The greatest power any of us has, is the ability to make another human being feel good about themselves.

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  • http://www.davidsollars.com/ David Sollars

    Michael, I very
    much appreciate your words today. I too have deep impressions made on me by
    leaders who used their power unconsciously or irresponsibly. I vowed never to
    do it myself, yet the discipline I found was tougher than it looked from the
    outside.

    I found that I
    was not always naturally on my best prior to every committee, business or board
    meeting.

    I discovered
    outside influences had tremendous effect on my nature, which would skew my own
    perceptions, if left unattended.

    I realized that
    I needed to prepare for each meeting like I used to for each stage performance
    because, guess what, I was on stage!

    Actors Tips for
    Leading When the Curtain Rises

    * My presence as
    a leader: The organization was being felt even prior to the meeting because of
    the content and tempo of my daily communications. I needed to increase
    awareness about my daily messaging.

    * Reflect: Prior
    to going into the meeting, reflect on how your own moods, manners and consciously
    choose what to keep and what may hold you back from a stellar performance.

    * Group
    Dynamics: Take a moment and examine the past interplay of this team and how you
    fit into leading their established dynamic into a better script for success.

    * Listen Like a
    Leader: Knowing where you are centered is important, yet any audience that is
    asked to engage will want to know they are being listened to and not just
    talked at by their leader. Understanding their many methods of feedback will
    keep the desired outcome on track.

    Thank you for
    another post that fires up the creative spirit and brings home our
    responsibilities as leaders to understand and use our power wisely.

    Michael, I very
    much appreciate your words today. I too have deep impressions made on me by
    leaders who used their power unconsciously or irresponsibly. I vowed never to
    do it myself, yet the discipline I found was tougher than it looked from the
    outside.

    I found that I
    was not always naturally on my best prior to every committee, business or board
    meeting.

    I discovered
    outside influences had tremendous effect on my nature, which would skew my own
    perceptions, if left unattended.

    I realized that
    I needed to prepare for each meeting like I used to for each stage performance
    because, guess what, I was on stage!

    Actors Tips for
    Leading When the Curtain Rises

    * My presence as
    a leader: The organization was being felt even prior to the meeting because of
    the content and tempo of my daily communications. I needed to increase
    awareness about my daily messaging.

    * Reflect: Prior
    to going into the meeting, reflect on how your own moods, manners and consciously
    choose what to keep and what may hold you back from a stellar performance.

    * Group
    Dynamics: Take a moment and examine the past interplay of this team and how you
    fit into leading their established dynamic into a better script for success.

    * Listen Like a
    Leader: Knowing where you are centered is important, yet any audience that is
    asked to engage will want to know they are being listened to and not just
    talked at by their leader. Understanding their many methods of feedback will
    keep the desired outcome on track.

    Thank you for
    another post that fires up the creative spirit and brings home our
    responsibilities as leaders to understand and use our power wisely.