I’m about to reveal a secret to you all, a counter-intuitive one, yet so obvious that shouldn’t be a secret in the first place. You may find that this is not just an intellectual idea, a fantasy driven by psychological insecurities, or a notion risen by human fears or social programming of any kind. This is a corner-stone belief, a way of being and living.
Well, let us pause for a second… Here it is:
A leader leads first by connection
and then by example.
“First by connection” has such depth as the word “connection” implies, and that is unlimited, both in strength, quality and time. “First” on the other hand, states not only priority over the example, but also implies negation of the example itself, on the absence of connection.
A poor connection, may only suggest
an uninspiring example.
Connection means being related actively, lively, openly, free-willingly to others. Its a relation that consists a human bond of trust, truth and love, that strengthens or weakens over time. Its a dynamic relationship fueled not by social norms, company policies, working laws, politically correct manners or other necessities, but by the very core of who we all are: loving human beings.
Most of us do know from personal experience such leaders; its our fathers, our mothers, our big brothers, sisters and elder friends. Would you ever name your father a “manager” of your family? Would you ever give such a label to your brother, or to a friend of yours?
A leader is a skillful manager in a connection with his team, his people, his colleagues. And he is not “babysitting” them, no, not ever! This sounds condescending and disrespectful to them, and so unlike the way he carries himself and treats them. Sometimes he is like a father to them, others a mother, or a brother, or a friend, or just a colleague, a co-worker, but always, always, a human they can trust.