A Blog by John Bossong

5 Ways To Make Leadership Personal

Leaders need to make leadership personal.  Here are five things I heard on a recent leadership podcast you can do to make your leadership personal and why it matters.




How To Make Leadership Personal

  1. Serve your internal customers (employees) and they will serve your external customers.   They will become an extension of your vision and values.  They will make decisions based on values, not out of fear.
  2. Be a role model not a boss.  Model the behaviors and values you want your people to display.  Do what you say.
  3. Make sure your employees share the values of the organization.  Hire people who share these same values – this is crucial.
  4. Andy Stanley says write thank you notes to your people.  Leave them on their desk.  Personalize the notes.  Be genuine and specific.  What exactly are you so appreciative of?  Let them know it.  Don’t overdo it.  What’s the behavior or value you want repeated?  Let them know it.
  5. Dave Ramsey says to make it public.  Praise people in public, in front of their peers.  They will go through walls for you.  They will be inspired and motivated.

You can’t make it personal if you don’t make it personal.

Why Leadership Needs To Be Personal

If you want a team that is unified and aligned, make leadership personal.  People don’t want a job, they want a purpose.  What they do is simply a means to achieve the higher purpose.  The why.  Consider these organizations:

  1. Zappos
  2. Apple
  3. Chick-fil-A
  4. Hobby Lobby
  5. Southwest Airlines

They all produce a product or service.  But, it’s not what they do.  Each has a higher calling or purpose (why).  You can’t achieve that without making it personal.  It won’t resonate.  It won’t stick.  You won’t get buy in.

Make your leadership personal.  It may be as simple as writing a note on the first paycheck of your employee.   It may be getting out of your office and interacting every day.  It certainly is living and modeling the values and principles of the organization.

Question:  What will / can you do to make leadership personal? 


  1. Judy Lundy says:

    The key with all of these things is to do them genuinely (authentically). People quickly see through undeserved praise or tokenistic walking around. You need to lead from the heart to engage the hearts and minds of employees.

  2. Thank you for sharing these excellent tips on great leadership and making it personal.

    I have worked with leaders that did many of these things, as well as with bosses that did few to none of these things.

    I can say from personal experience the leaders that practiced your tips created a healthier and happier business!


  3. Mike Cowan says:

    John, this is a great article and proud that it defines me in a lot of ways. This article is great resource for new leaders just starting.

  4. Désiré SAGAL says:

    True and interesting, great thanks for this remind! Most of the time we forget such simple but important tips. I will make them personal.

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