I have written often about the dearth of leadership, not just in the US, but worldwide. It is so concerning, I often go out of my way to use the phrase about someone “in a leadership position.” I do this as I cannot bring myself to call an incumbent who defames the role on a daily basis “a leader.”
I ran across a short and simple quote that popped up in my Linked In feed.
“The first rule of leadership: put your mission above your ego.
The second rule of leadership: if you don’t care about your people, they won’t care about your mission.
The third rule of leadership: if someone has to tell you the first two rules, you are not ready to lead yet.“
Adam Grant on Linked In.
Think of these rules of leadership. Everyone has an ego and those who want to be leaders have even larger ones. When they put themselves above their mission, that is not leadership. That is self-serving.
Leaders also lead people. And, no matter how much they beat on their chest, they cannot serve people alone, so they need help. If incumbents treat people on their team poorly, these people will not be able to help whom the incumbents lead. It is that simple.
Too many of our politicians worry more about keeping their job, than doing their job. Too many business leaders do the same thing. For publicly traded companies, it is a key reason they focus so much on making their quarterly numbers. Rather than manage for longer horizons, they manage quarter to quarter.
I have used many other quotes about leadership that say the above in different ways. But, just focusing on the second rule, take care of your people – they see it. If you do not, they will vote with their feet.