Recently I attended the Global Leadership Summit where Craig Groeschel led a session entitled, “Becoming a Leader People Love to Follow”. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? The title makes a leader ask if they are this kind of leader. In the session, he quotes a Forbes article where employers and employees were asked the same question, “What do employees need from a boss to become better?” The bosses said two things: Better at finances and better at technology; while the two things employees said: Leadership-where are you taking me? And Emotional Intelligence-how are you treating me? It was interesting to see the very different perspectives. As leaders, are we considering the employee’s perspective when looking at our own leadership development? How do you feel when you have been led by a great leader? Craig Groeschel shared these three things: “You feel valued. You feel inspired. You feel empowered.” How are you creating an environment where your employees feel valued, inspired, and empowered? Here are three ways to create an environment where people feel those things as shared by Craig Groeschel.

  1. We need a heart to care.  “You will never be a leader that others love to follow if you aren’t a leader who truly loves people.” He encouraged the use of four words often: “I notice” and “You matter”. “Appreciate people more than you should and then double it.” I found a statement about appreciation in “The Trust Edge” that indicated survey results found 65% of respondents had never received any appreciation during the previous year. This was shocking. Clearly, some leaders need to begin expressing appreciation. “Some leaders will make you think that they are really important. But the best leaders will make you know that you are important.” A common message I shared in my Human Resources leadership years was that you get results through people. Too often leaders focus just on the business results and forget the “who” that is contributing to achieve the results.
  2. We need a passion to inspire. What is your passion and how are you inspiring your team? Here is what Craig had to say about this point:
    1. “There is a difference between inspiration and motivation. Motivation is pushing people to do something they don’t want to do. Inspiration is pulling out of them what is already there.”
    2. “Employees who describe themselves as inspired are twice as productive.”
    3. “Humility inspires. Pride discourages.”
    4. “Follow-through inspires. Be a leader who consistently does what you say you’re going to do.”
    5. “Centered Leaders: The presence of a centered leader inspires.  A centered leader is secure, stable, confident, guided by values, driven by purpose and obsessed with vision.”
    6. “Passion transforms a job into a calling. When passion meets inspiration, an obsession is born.”
  3. We need a willingness to empower. Are you quick to delegate or do you need to control everything? Here are Craig’s points on this one:
    1. “The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”
    2. “You can have control, or you can have growth. But you cannot have both.”
    3. “Delegate authority, not tasks. We need to give people ownership. Let your people soar. Give them freedom, and allow them to fail.”
    4. “Decision making: As leaders, we need to be delegating more decisions. Use phrases like “I trust you,” “You decide on this one,” “I trust your judgment.”
    5. “The best way to find out if you trust someone is to trust them.”
    6. “If you don’t trust your team, you’re either too controlling or you have the wrong people, either way the problem is yours to solve.”
  4. We need to have courage.
    1. “We need the courage to be real, transparent, vulnerable, humble, integrous and honest.”
    2. “We need to step into the role we are given and lead with passion and integrity.”
    3. “As leaders, we feel pressure to be perfect, strong and right. People aren’t looking for that. People would rather follow someone who is real than someone who is right.”
    4. “We’re going to do the best we can. And when we get it wrong, we’re going to say, “I’m sorry.””
    5. “The stakes are very high. It’s time for leaders to stand up.”

Where do you need to have courage?

What is your takeaway from the four ways to create an environment where people feel valued, inspired, and empowered?