I just finished reading Larry Kreider’s most excellent book, 21 Tests of Effective Leadership. It really helped me re-focus on what makes a great leader and recommit myself to becoming the kind of leader I am called to be.
Larry had a bunch of great quotes on leadership, but one that stuck out with me was a quote from former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the chapter called “The Vision Test.” He said:
“… find ways to reach down and touch everyone in a unit. Make individuals feel important and part of something larger than themselves.”
This is a variation of the principle: Know the condition of your flock. An effective leader knows the importance of trust-based relationships within the organization. If you are a supervisor, you should make it a point to touch base with everyone that is directly under your command or a part of your team at least once a day if at all possible. In this way, you will build the relationship and know their condition. This is an essential ingredient for servant-leadership.
Remember: the greatest Leader who ever lived said, “I came not to be served, but TO serve” and “He who would be greatest among you must become the servant of all…”