Authentic Expressions of Leadership

I was at my local Starbucks the other day talking with my favorite barista when I found out he was the manager too. When I told him I didn’t realize he was the boss, he said, “I like it when no one knows I am the manager, just one of the team.” He had struck me as a genuine person over the last few years and I remembered he was funny. And when I asked him questions, he was knowledgeable and authentic and people respected him.

And then, my short trip to Starbucks quickly became research. Think of the best Mentor, Boss, or Teacher you have ever had.

·      Did you respect them?

·      Did they treat you with respect?

·      Did you trust them?

·      Could you laugh with them?

·      Did they communicate clear expectations, and also what not to worry about?

·      Did they expect a lot from you and accelerated your growth?

·      Were they knowledgeable and admitted when they were wrong?

·      Did they believe you were better than you thought you were?

·      Were they able to give you feedback from the teachers mind, not the boss.

·      Did you feel better or worse after an interaction with them?

·      Did they ask you how you wanted to be managed?

·      Did they connect, listen and establish trust before speaking?

As leaders today, a big part of the job is retention of good people and serving their needs. At one of my recent workshops a participant mentioned that managing people today was like managing volunteers because they can leave so easily. Exactly!

Note: A recent survey from Chief Learning Officer Magazine said the number one thing employees want right now is coaching and mentoring.