Over the years I’ve read extensively on the topic of leadership. Two words that have become clear indicators of effective leadership for me are these:
Transparency and Vulnerability
I had the great fortune to get to observe and know an exceptional leader who exhibited both in exemplary fashion (I’ll call him Pat). Pat had the most remarkable ability to make people feel comfortable within moments of engaging with him. Pat had the power to put folks "at ease."
After much reflection on how Pat could emanate that kind of presence, it became clearer to me that he managed to manifest those two qualities - transparency and vulnerability.
Through his words,
his eye contact,
his tone of voice,
Pat effectively made others feel valued, important, heard, elevated.
No wonder others enjoyed his leadership and prospered under it.
No wonder the organization he led performed so well.
No wonder the people that worked with Pat were so endeared to him.
I've got some learning to do from Pat about how to put others at ease.