By Chuck Sink
There’s a topic one of my business consulting clients brings up in his talks. He does so tactfully and with quiet conviction. It’s a soft topic, ignored with hard consequences.
For me and I suspect most people, there are certain individuals we look up to and genuinely admire. Sometimes I marvel at the discipline and focus some high achievers have. In the past I was envious of their apparent ease at setting goals and accomplishing them. Now as I witness their achievements I feel good for them, happy that I know them and am able to learn from them. Those amazing people can teach us average people (speaking only for myself) a lot. There is so much I need to learn. And you know what? Those same high achievers may someday be in dire need of my help or your help. Great leaders possess enough humility to know this. Perhaps they already hit that dire situation, found the help they needed, accepted it, recovered and grew to where they are today.
There are times when all of us; I don’t care who you think you are or what of life’s challenges you think you’ve mastered, we all crash or get badly hurt at some point in our journey. We can work for and achieve mastery over bad habits. We can reach and surpass every life and business goal we set for ourselves. And then one day a pointed rebuke or sharp disapproval from a cherished person reveals a truth; a higher ideal that can seem to render our lives as having failed. Nothing affects a human being’s countenance more than the quality of his or her relationships. No amount of wealth or power is worth more than the approval and love of others. A wise leader will use this fact to lead his team more effectively.
Intellectual and physical prowess are worthless without love genuinely practiced. The unaided will of a strong person can run a business or family like a juggernaut, rolling roughshod or even very lightly over the feelings of others. This can go on for years without obvious consequences. Eventually, valuable employees or partners look for an out. They take their talents elsewhere because they are receiving no social and emotional compensation for their hard work, loyalty and love.
Love exists wherever people congregate, whether it’s a family, church, fellowship, community organization or business. A well educated leader knows this in his mind. The truly fortuitous leader feels this in his heart. He doesn’t really manage people, but manages well his relationships with people. As such, the great leader is one for whom people want to give their bests efforts. They do so because they are recognized, praised and genuinely appreciated. They feel like family. They know they are loved.