“Stay connected to feel empathy, compassion, and understanding for yourself and others.”
- Vanessa Tucker
In difficult times more than any other time, people need leadership; they look for confident leaders who demonstrate solid character, never compromising core values when they’re under pressure. Successfully leading through challenging times requires courage, vision, and good instincts.
Our experience with COVID-19 has changed all of us to some degree. Each of us is slowly navigating our way to some semblance of normalcy, where we can resume our lives pursuing the future that stood before us before the pandemic disruption. Helping our people to process the past and begin looking to the future is the challenge that lies before us.
Leaders should be aware that everyone is processing their experience of the past few months differently. Connecting with them on a more meaningful level is imperative. If you successfully meet them at the point of their needs so they can begin moving forward with restored confidence, they’ll become more of an asset to your organizations’ plans for the months ahead.
Connecting with Your People is a Win/Win
“Leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”
– John Maxwell
John Maxwell writes, “If you’ve been on any kind of winning team in business, sports, or service, you know that the leader didn’t simply give instructions and then send you on your way. No, he or she connected with you on an emotional level. For leaders to be effective, they need to connect with people. Why? Because you first have to touch people’s hearts before you ask them for a hand. That is the Law of Connection.”(1)
Learning to Lead From The Heart
As a young leader, I made a quality decision to learn how to lead from the heart. I discovered that leading from the heart made me a love-driven leader, also known as a servant-leader. As a servant leader, I was becoming intentionally relational with all people all the time wanting to do all I can to help them reach their potential. I can tell you it’s challenging, but the benefits far outweigh the efforts.
When you choose to serve your people, you will honor, protect, and empower them. Being intentionally others-oriented allows your people to work without the thought of having their mistakes used against them. The positive energy generated by that philosophy is both highly contagious and liberating.
Leading from The Heart – Leaving a Legacy
Leading from the heart enables you to be comfortable with being authentic; your self-awareness keeps you connected to core values that breed trust and respect unsolicited. How can you not trust and respect a leader who’s forgiving, inspiring, creative, humble, patient, and empowering? Especially when you walk away, encouraged every time you speak with them, how important this is in our current challenging environment.
In describing servant-leaders, Ken Blanchard observes, “A leader who cheers those around him, offering specific praise for things done right, is a leader who will win the hearts of others and see great things accomplished.” “Servant leaders don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less often.”
“The most amazing people are those who love themselves truly and love others endlessly.”
- Debasish Mridha
In my experience, the most effective leaders are those who love what they do, and those who they do it with and do it for, love-driven leaders possess similar traits as the influential teachers of our youth. They encourage, inspire, and challenge those in their care. “Genuine leadership is of only one type,” says J. Donald Walters: “Supportive. It leads people: It doesn’t drive them. It involves them: It doesn’t coerce them.”
Psychologists Les Perrott remarked, “Some people possess an invisible quality that draws others to them like a magnet. They’re more than just likable. Their charisma defines everything they do and every encounter they have. Accordingly, they build better teams, win more respect, and achieve bigger results. Are they merely lucky in life, blessed with personality traits that spell success without effort? Not on your life!”
Servant-Leaders are Love-Driven Leaders Who Invest in People
If you want to excel as a leader during difficult times, make serving others for their benefit your highest priority. Being a love-driven leader means you are value-driven, guided by principles such as humility, accountability, optimism. Here are four qualities of love-driven leaders; they will help you to help your people successfully navigate post-COVID-19 challenges on their journey to normalcy.
Leo Buscaglia notes, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Love-Driven Leaders Possess an Empathic Intuitiveness
Love-driven leaders place themselves last, making the needs of their people priority one. Being emotionally intelligent leaders, they tend to be motivating and energizing. Keenly in touch with their feelings, desires, and motives equip them with that empathic intuitiveness that touches hearts on many levels.
Love-Driven Leaders Equip People
Being love-driven makes you others-oriented; you’re more inclined to work toward making others better than they are now. Genuine love for self and others releases confidence, purpose, renewed optimism, and a sense of belonging in people. Investing in your people pays high dividends for them and your organization. Helping your people acclimate to a new future, places your organization ahead of the curve in pursuit of your corporate vision.
If you’re love-driven, you possess a healthy level of self-worth, seeking to liberate people from their insecurities, you will naturally strive to empower every member of your team. Instilling confidence, self-esteem, and a positive mental attitude to meet and overcome the challenges ahead make you an indispensable force for good to your people, your organization, and society.
As a love-driven leader, you will hold yourself to a high standard of accountability. Leading by example, you’ll naturally make yourself accountable to your team. Stewarding that responsibility protects the cohesiveness of your team, strengthens trust, saves time and money when tackling projects, enabling them to meet deadlines and hit their objectives with confidence.
Don’t miss this opportunity to reinvent and redirect your life, your business, helping your people to reset their vision for the future, and open the door to discovering new opportunities together.
“Empathy is simply listening, holding space, withholding judgment, emotionally connecting, and communicating that incredibly healing message of you’re not alone.”
– Brene Brown
(1) “The Law of Connection” from “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell.”