Who would you rather follow?
- The person who has a leadership style worth emulating
- The leader who has a life worth emulating
I like the second one.
The best leaders I know aren't perfect, but they do lead lives worth emulating. Whole lives, not just work personas. Each interaction with them leaves me a little more energized, because they had the energy available to give me. I follow them for who they are and not just what they do. I seek out leaders who:
Operate from a place of calm.
They move at a pace of their own choosing, not one dictated by the crowd. While others in the meeting are frenetically generating sideways energy, they are listening to understand rather than to respond, and when they choose to speak, they do so with an air of confidence and caring. In conflict situations, they are more focused on building a bridge to relationship than being "right."
Default to gratitude.
Rather than always defaulting to what isn't perfect yet, they are first and foremost keenly aware of what's going right. While most people are focused on scarcity, they are focused on abundance. By helping others appreciate the good, they help fuel a desire to enhance what's already available to build momentum and everyday wins. This sort of leader creates natural followers without even trying.
Treat work as a sport.
These leaders love the thrill of competition, and they are clear that their competitors are outside the walls of the company, and not inside. When they walk onto the playing field they give it everything they've got, and when they walk off the sidelines, they trust that the game can survive without them while they tend to themselves and their family, without constantly having to run back onto the field at all hours.