When a leader begins to have child-like visions, he leads the team to heights unimaginable. Being childish doesn’t mean a leader should abandon the stats and act solely based on gut feeling; I’m not saying that a leader has to keep setting target for his team that they can’t reach, no, far from that. Having a childlike attitude means that a leader sees possibilities where the average person sees impossibilities, a leader sees the end when others see the present, a leader sees the good in any and everyone when others see the negatives.
Be a child in your vision.
Children are also great at making friends. In a Robin Sharma teaching, he shared how children were able to make new friends faster when they met for the first time than adults would. That is one key aspect of leadership that we have had eroded from us, being friendly.
The world is moving so fast, so fast that people believe emotions of others are on the same pace. We have lost our sense of connection. We have become too busy with ourselves, forgetting how to meet other people emotional needs. We are too concerned with the stats and metrics, too busy checking our phones, sending emails and WhatsApp messages when we could talk to a person one on one. We have become a generation with many ways of connecting, but losing the core of connection. We are not connected.
For some, it is the ego of their “coveted” positions that makes them lose their humanity. For others, it is a genuine lack of empathy and people skills that is the problem. Children are the most amazing set of a humans when it comes to people skills. A child would meet a new child today, with no former contact with the child, these children could become friends within minutes. With them ‘there is no who is older or who came first’’, there is no ‘’who is more handsome and who is more beautiful’’. They connect based on the base level of human interactions – because they are children. Egos are not coming in to interrupt who stretches out the first hand of fellowship. “What would others think” is not considered when they start sharing their toys and secrets just a few minutes after meeting, none of those occurs. This is because for children, being humans was all the ticket they needed to connect. Nothing special. Just be human.
The job of a great leader is to build a family of leaders that can sacrifice for each other, irrespective of gender or social status or positions – a great leader builds not just a team, but family. Be a child, connect.
In a world where the stress level is going up daily, where the traffic and company expectations are on a steady rise, members of a team would need all the family feel and connection to rise above the waters, to stay afloat, to keep moving. Building a family for a leader would mean caring genuinely for the lives of his team members. It means listening to their cries for help, it means focusing on them and not on the project at hand, it means dropping your social mask and becoming human with your team members. A leader that is able to build a family of team members, would watch how strong a unit they would be and how productivity would increase.
We are how we feel, not what we think
On a final note, every leader needs to be blind. You read right, BE BLIND DEAR LEADER!
Blind leaders are not focused on the things happening around them, they are not moved by the metrics indicating success or failure, but they are focused on themselves and their gut feelings and their own movement. A leader who is blind is often seen as arrogant. He is often tagged as “missing the bubbles and ups of financial markets”. A blind leader is not common. And we need blind leaders.
We need leaders who are blind to their competitions, leaders who are blind to distractions, leaders who are blind to temporary figures, blind to their team members current shortcomings but, instead see the future where they improve, we need leaders who are blind to the bickering around, but more focused on their teams and how the team can reach their personal and collective best.
Statistics rule today’s leadership. We hear of leaders who are promoted based on how well they make money in the market, leaders who are constantly changing identity of the team just so they can meet the “market requirements”, we have leaders who are moving from one point to another just to fit in, changing the team, not because they are not good enough, but because they don’t fit what the present market wants. It is very okay for a leader to be flexible. John Maxwell recommends flexibility in plans as a major character of a great leader. But a leader who is changing because of the times and seasons and not mainly because it is in tandem with the teams’ core value, a leader who is willing to sacrifice team members, hard working team members, for a rise in the “numbers”, a leader who is swayed by “what others are doing” and not what his team wants to do, these kind of leaders are not blind.
A blind leader is more trusting of his team members than the stats. A blind leader is not seeing your shortcomings, he is seeing your genius. A blind leader is blind to what would make his team feel less and wide eyed on what would make them great. Dear leader, be blind and a child.