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5 Essentials People Want from a Leader

3) They want to know that you care.

It was over 30 years ago that my friend and mentor John Maxwell first said to me,

“Dan, people don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care.”

That changed my leadership life!

How well do you communicate that you love and care about the people you serve? Caring about people isn’t automatic. You’ve probably experienced a professor, doctor, waiter or boss that you’re pretty sure just didn’t care.

Loving someone and genuinely caring about them is something that must be intentionally cultivated when you work with so many people. It might be easier with, for example, just your family. But when there are dozens, hundreds or thousands, it requires significant leadership energy at a heart level.

4) They want to know that you are positive.

In the same way, people don’t follow insecure leaders; they don’t want to be around negative leaders either.

Positivity isn’t about hype and selling. Sincerity is essential. Being a positive leader is related to faith, but carries the more practical side of being a cheerful person who sees the cup half full. A positive attitude is not reserved for those who were “born that way.” Any personality can do this. Attitude is a choice.

When we approach problems and difficult situations with a positive disposition, it’s amazing how much better it goes.

5) They want to know that you are trustworthy.

This is so important. Trust is the currency all leadership is based on. If you blow trust, you are a bankrupt leader.

The two primary components that make a leader trustworthy are character and competence. You can be a leader of solid integrity, but if you’re not good at what you do, they won’t trust you. You may be brilliant in leadership, but if your character is flawed, the people won’t trust you. It’s that simple, and that complicated.

Honesty, transparency and working on your craft are key to the continued cultivation of trust.

This article about leadership essentials originally appeared here.