In an article on the Advantage Performance website, Katrin Schwabe writes about how tough it is for most people to lead others. She explains: "For some of us, leading comes naturally. For most, however, it’s hard – even under the best of conditions. And it takes us by surprise when it really shouldn’t. This is because leading people is not easy. It is complex. It can be frustrating. It is time-consuming. It’s about emotions and expectations.
Leading people is about mobilizing and optimizing the talent and skills of yourself and others in order to achieve results. And it is about the willingness to hold up the mirror and be very self-aware about your strengths and limitations – and maintaining the capacity to grow and develop."
She counsels anyone considering stepping into a leadership position (or even those who are already leaders) to ask themselves the following questions:
And in the book, Leading Early Childhood Organizations, Margie Carter outlines some of the behaviors she believes are most important for effective leaders to practice. Here’s the first one she mentions: "Offer genuine respect and trust." She explains: "Teachers say they usually feel respected when someone really listens to them, trying to understand and be responsive…Some talk about 'being trusted to succeed, even if they falter.'"
Early Childhood Organizations
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Helen, isn't it an amazing and empowering feeling to be seen and heard and respected? We rise together in such organizations, supported by that kind of leadership. I wish it for more people.
Helen, I so agree. I always found that one of my greatest joys of leadership was supporting and celebrating others’ growth!
This is very true. I spent 20 years in a company where Leadership did not want to support or put time into helping develop others true potential. They were often enraged at having to set their job aside to help a person under their leadership. The company I work for know has a very healthy culture of leadership and encouragement. They are good at listening, building on strengths and they see many powerful results from their efforts to promote healthy thought patterns and mutual respect.