People Need 3 Things From Their Leaders

People Need 3 Things From Their Leaders

People need 3 things from their leaders

My friend Conor Neill (Senior lecturer at IESE Business School in Barcelona, and President of Vistage, Spain) recently hosted Allan Mulally, the former CEO of Ford to speak to his Vistage group about how to lead in times of uncertainty.

Mulally said people need 3 things from their leaders:

1. Who are you?
2. Where are we going?
3. Do you see me?

Here’s my take:

1. Who are you?
I encourage my client leaders to create a “User Manual” and share it with their staff. This document explains the leader’s personal values, likes and dislikes, performance expectations, and communication preferences. Making your personal preferences explicit means your team does not have to guess what pleases you or what makes you tick.

2. Where are we going?
This is where a one page strategic plan does most of the heavy lifting. But at the very least, leaders should be able to say, “Here’s where we are going, and here’s what we need to do next to get there”. You describe the mountain you want to climb, and what the next step is.

3. Do you see me?
This is where the leader takes a genuine interest in their people, observing their work, and asking questions like: What is working well in your role? What could be improved? What changes would you make if you were me?

This is followed by expressing genuine appreciation and praise for the work your people do.

Until next time…
Stephen