Authentic Leadership Doesn’t Pigeon Hole People

By Steve Keating

Authentic Leadership is a balancing act.

An authentic leader must understand the strengths and weaknesses of their people. They must make judgments about their people and make certain that they are giving their people the best chance to succeed.

It’s a balancing act because authentic leaders can’t afford to be judgmental while making the judgments required to help their people succeed. Authentic leaders know better than to apply their own life’s circumstances and values to the situations and decisions of their people. Authentic leaders accept most everything at face value.

Authentic leaders know that judging a person does more to define themselves than it does the person they judge. They also know that every person is in someway unique and gifted. Authentic leaders invest the time to discover what those gifts are and find a way to put them to use.

Authentic leaders are realists and they are fair. There will always be a person or persons who a leader “prefers” working with but that preference shouldn’t mean “extra” benefits or opportunities for that “preferred” person. Rules and policies apply equally or they don’t really apply at all.

Most of all, a leader should never pigeon hole their people.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term “pigeon hole” it means to decide that someone or something belongs to a particular type or group, especially without knowing much about them.

This is where authentic leaders really separate themselves from the more common leader: They know their people. They know what motivates them, they know their challenges and goals. They see their people as PEOPLE and not merely a resource to be allocated.

They invest the time everyday, yes everyday, to understand them as people. They work to understand their environment, backgrounds, past successes and failures. They can make judgments without being judgmental because they know where their people are coming from.

If you’re a leader who believes (accurately) that your own success is dependent upon the success of your people then don’t judge what you don’t know. If you’re a leader who believes that your organization’s greatest asset is it’s people then invest your time with your greatest asset.

People want to matter and when they know that they matter to you then and only then will you have the opportunity to truly lead.


 

Steve Keating

Steve Keating

Steve has over 29 years of sales and sales management experience and he speaks dozens of times a year on topics relating to sales, customer service, management, team building, leadership and business management.

1977 Graduate of University of Minnesota

Certified by Sales & Marketing Executives International as a Certified Professional Salesperson, Certified Sales Executive and Certified Marketing Executive

Visit Steve’s website at http://stevekeating.me

 

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About Isaac C. Mwiya

Isaac C. Mwiya is an author, motivational speaker and trainer. He believes that each and every person was put on this earth for a purpose. His goal is to help both the old and the young to find their purpose in life and express it fully everyday. He wishes for every person to realize their true potential and become all that they were meant to. To bring Isaac to your next event call +260 978 638 389. You can also connect with him on and follow him on Twitter

Posted on May 12, 2014, in Leadership and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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