Leaders commonly share attributes like wealth, status, and recognition. Those leaders who would define success by such attributes are often motivated by power and achievement. The more personal gains they secure, the more successes they perceive.
Other leaders, however, don’t define success by indicators that are so easily measured. For these leaders, higher profits may indicate they are excelling in their industries, and increased responsibilities may mean more opportunities to grow their companies, but such achievements aren’t their primary gauges of success. Instead, they define success by servicing their employees. Success, to them, comes from a happy, empowered team.
Living generously outside of work will trickle into your professional life as well. The traits you nurture in your everyday life will intuitively transfer into your leadership style. Such traits will not only foster your relationship with your employees but directly impact their growth and development. Below are three ways that people-first leaders can influence a positive company culture:
You see what others don’t
When you live to help others, you tend to notice things that other people don’t see. You understand the nuances of people’s behaviors, which enables you to read every person on your team. Such enhanced familiarity allows you to identify strengths in team members that other leaders would miss, as well as struggles that employees may be confronting.
Employees respond positively when they are seen and heard at work. Acknowledging their talents and supporting them in times of need will build a stronger team and a stronger company. Doing so also breeds trust.
You believe in second chances
In today’s chaotic business world, employees are often given just one chance before they’re either reprimanded or fired. Many leaders create harsh environments by believing that only the strong and competent will survive. But this is rarely true. Employees don’t thrive under constant and excessive pressure. Rather, they feel empowered when they know they have a support that will support them during difficult periods.
People-first leaders give their employees second chances. Everyone makes mistakes, and every leader should be able to own up to that reality. Set your employees up for success by giving them the footing they need to achieve their goals.
At the same time, leaders must recognize employees for who and what they are. Giving repeat offenders additional opportunities is often asking for trouble. And doing so often sends counterproductive messages to your other employees. Problem staffers need to be held accountable for their actions, and quality staffers need to see that misconduct carries consequences.
You give feedback, not criticism
Your words can have serious implications for your company culture. Leaders who live generously in their personal lives develop higher levels of patience and compassion, so they tend to be more careful with the words they use in challenging situations.
If an employee is struggling to meet a certain standard of work, constructive criticism is appropriate and desirable so long as it helps the project reach its intended finish line. In contrast, simply lecturing employees on their deficiencies may illustrate what they’re doing wrong but doesn’t provide them with a framework for enhancing their skills. Feedback should build your team up, not tear it down.
Be a leader who fights for your team every day with all the energy you have.