Everyone “wants” and everyone “needs“. It’s part of life. The hard part is defining the wants and needs. What you need doesn’t equate to what you want and just because you want something doesn’t mean you need it.
My three daughters want a lot of “stuff”. Do they need it? Society has created a culture of wants. Be we need. What we want usually gets us in debt. What we want may not be healthy. What we want usually satisfies the short-term.
The key is determining what you need. What do you really need? Is it a bigger house? More cars? More stuff? When does the “wanting” stop?
Leadership is no different. You need to give your followers what they need. Not what you want.
WHAT YOUR FOLLOWERS NEED
1. To Know They Are Important
They need to know they are important. Give them the respect they deserve at all levels. They don’t need to be judged. They need to know they matter. If not, work is just a paycheck. “What” they do makes a difference and “how” they do it is important. They need to know they contribute. They need to know they are part of the success. They need to know they have an impact, don’t underestimate this.
2. A Voice
Your people need a voice. They need to participate in setting goals and aspirations. They need to create the culture they work in. They need to make decisions without fear. They need to take care of the customer on the front line. They need a voice in how work gets done. They need to be heard.
3. A Committed Leader
- Committed to hiring and developing great people.
- Committed to creating and cultivating a great culture.
- Committed to not caring about who gets credit.
- Committed to earning trust.
- Committed to core values and beliefs.
- Committed to accountability and responsibility not blame and finger pointing.
- Committed to a vision and a plan.
- Committed to loving people.
- Committed to positive energy and encouragement.
- Committed to serving. Starting at the bottom.
No one wants to be told what they can’t do. Give your people permission. Permission to fail and try new things and make decisions. To care about the customer. To do what’s right in the moment of truth. Permission to lead. Permission to make a difference. It’s easy to say no. To say, “It’s not in the manual.” Give your people permission to say yes. Yes may be wrong. But it’s their yes. It’s their challenge. It’s their opportunity.
What Do You Want
Poor leaders want credit. They want power and authority. They want to sit at the top of the hierarchy and be served. They want approval. They want a position. They want formal authority. They want safe. They want easy. They want quick results. They want control.
Give your followers what they need. Serve their needs and they will lead.
What else do followers need from their leader?