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Caring Leadership Is a Team Sport

I am a fast-moving person who drives for success. I also lead with my heart. Often, I am moving so fast that I outrun my own capabilities, and I have a hard time asking for help. When I take the time to pause, I release the need to control everything around me and invite others in. This is the only way I am successful in moving forward. Consequently, I often learn that I must allow others to help me shoulder the burden. 

It is in my nature to want to control everything, which may be why my career has guided me here. In the past, I have learned that this type of management style is not productive for myself or my team. Thankfully, I realized this many, many years ago. Now, I teach others what I had to learn the hard way. 

I believe that involving others and making it a team sport is the most productive thing a leader can do. For one, it takes the stress off from your shoulders and allows you to focus on the big picture. Additionally, it will enable the team members to show up and make a contribution. 

I’m a firm believer in the Richard Branson mentality of “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” The goal is to uplift every team member and expand – this will result in higher productivity and easier organizational expansion. 

Being open and letting your team know that you need help does more than increase productivity. It demonstrates that as a leader, you are not perfect. It shows that even though you are the leader of this organization, you need the team’s help to accomplish goals. Allowing your team to feel like they are part of the big picture will help in the organization’s long-term success. Being vulnerable and allowing your team to be part of the solution demonstrates caring leadership and builds the personal relationship that you have with your team. 

The most successful and beloved CEOs provide caring leadership whether they recognize it or not. For example, Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, is highly personable with his entire staff. He takes the time to learn the first and last names of his employees – no matter what seniority level they hold. This type of personal relationship with his employees is what makes them loyal to his organization. Whether it be marketing, finance, or operations, he knows his people and can involve them in the decision-making process on a personal level. 

On the other hand, leaders who do not allow their teams to participate will often have less productivity as a result. This is because instead of being involved, the team members are simply just completing orders. This type of leadership is the opposite of what I strive to teach others, as it results in lower productivity and employee satisfaction. This combination is harmful to the organization and is a perfect storm for unhappy employees. 

In my book, The Art of Caring Leadership, I dive deep into how to involve your employees in the decision-making process successfully and how to delegate tasks with ease. I encourage you to pre-order my new book here as I go more into detail and share the stories of other caring leaders who are from around the world.

Discovering and Expanding Leadership Influence During and After Any Crisis A Mini Course + Action Planning Guide

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Heather R. Younger, J.D. YouTube Channel