Qualities of a Caring Leader: Concern

by Ron Potter

photo-1450436993444-721cd28f6187Over the next few weeks, our Trust Me posts will explore the qualities of a caring leader. We explored the first quality – Understanding here. Today we look at the second quality – Concern.

One of my favorite old adages says “I don’t care how much you know until I know how much you care.”  Remember, an old adage hangs around for hundreds of years because it is solidly true.

Many leaders believe they must completely separate their work life from their personal life. Many of them will say, “I don’t dare get too close to these people because I won’t be able to be objective if I need to give them critical feedback.”

But people follow leaders who care. People know they care, and they develop trust. If you are a caring, honestly challenging leader, people will follow you through the tough course of business ups and downs.

I have seen great leaders demonstrate care. They don’t just know the members of their team, they help them by taking action to improve their lives or set them on a fresh course.  When a leader cares about their team, the team cares for one another as well.

I often run an exercise with my clients that I call “Human Beings, not Human Doings.”  The point of the exercise is that when we relate to each other based entirely on what we “do”, things can get off base.  Maybe something wasn’t done right or on time or to the standards that were expected and we start to assign that disappointment to the person responsible for the work.  But when we begin to understand and relate to who people “are”, not just what they do, we often begin to understand people better.  We begin to care.  Under caring circumstances we begin to help each other and the team to improve our overall performance.  Caring produces results.


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