Great leaders know how to get the best from people

Have you had a leader who influenced your career, or who still inspires you to go the extra mile? Dean Phelan and I are interviewing leaders for our upcoming book, ‘The Gentle Art of Leadership.’ One thing we have found is that leaders who practice the gentle art had role models who influenced them and helped shape their own leadership style. Maybe it was their parents who instilled good values into them when they were growing up. Perhaps their first boss showed them the value of empathy in an early stage of their career. Our interviewees choose outstanding leaders who knew how to get the best from people.

Who would you nominate?

One of my role models got the best from people. They would go the extra mile for him. He illustrates the key point of our book that leaders who treat people with dignity and respect get the best results. I learned so much about leadership from him and will not embarrass him by naming him. I have often reflected on the attributes that made him such a respected and successful leader. What can we learn from leaders like him?

I noticed three simple but effective practices he adopted.

He was interested in me and valued me as a person

✅ He believed in me more than I believed in myself

✅ He always said ‘please’ and ‘thank you’

It turns out that he exhibited the characteristics that followers are seeking in leaders. Gallup surveyed over 10,000 people to understand leadership from the follower’s perspective. They asked, “What organisational leader has the most positive influence in your life?” Their list of top things that followers seek in leaders are even more important during this period of global uncertainty.

✳️ Trust (honesty, integrity and respect)

✳️ Compassion (caring, friendship, happiness and love)

✳️ Stability (security, strength, support and peace)

✳️ Hope (direction, faith and guidance)

🙋 What have you learned about leadership from your role models? 🙋‍♀️


Best regards, Brian