We’re seeing many things upended as a result of COVID-19! Society, the environment, religion, politics, government, education, and most of all people. Yet, the one thing that keeps manifesting itself to me daily is an epic, systemic failure of leadership in literally every sense and every sector.
I personally think that this failure actually started some time ago. It followed the trajectory of the economy in terms of the old saying in sports that when the team is winning, the coach can get away with a lot of mistakes. It’s when the team starts losing that those mistakes take on an entirely different perspective. Everyone knows what human beings do when the losing starts. They start pointing their fingers at everyone else as if they had nothing to do with it in the first place. Responsibility and accountability belong to someone else.
One of the most important leadership lessons I learned from my Mentor, Sam Walton, was that people put you where they want to based solely on how you treat them.
I’ve lived by that principle, both personally and professionally, my whole life. I wouldn’t tell you I was ever the smartest, most skilled person in the room, but I also wouldn’t tell you that I was ever the least confident or most enthusiastic one either.
What I would tell you is that I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt I’d work harder than anyone else in the room, and most important, treat my people better than anyone else in the room. I knew it going in and I knew it coming out. I knew that we’d get it all done through people.
Simon Sinek talks here about what he feels are the two most important character competencies leaders need today: Empathy & Perspective!
I’ve always had the former and I’ve learned the value of the latter over time. Listen closely as he tells Leaders that they’re not in charge of things. They’re in charge of the people in their charge.