The One Trait All Great Leaders Share

m power saturday

My friend and colleague Shaun Spearmon at Kotter International shares what we all know inherently about great leaders (and coaches), is that they can draw out our potential, stretch us, and take us farther than we can take ourselves. Read on… Have you ever worked for a boss who made you work harder than other bosses? This boss was motivating – not because they asked you to do a lot or placed outrageous demands on you. They inspired you to want to go the extra mile. Their words of praise filled you with intense satisfaction. It was rewarding and left you wanting more. If we’re lucky, over the course of our career we’ll have the opportunity to work for at least one leader like this.

Fortunately, I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve had the privilege to work for more than one extraordinary leader. They each had their own unique leadership style but they all shared one key characteristic: They respected me. (Which, in turn, earned my respect and admiration.) They took time to understand me and expanded my perspective with just a few words. The emails they’d send with a simple “Thank you” or “Thanks for asking that; this is important” filled me with such pride that I was inspired to work even harder – and stretch myself just a little further.

Exceptional CEOs do more than just push their employees to execute, they focus on helping them expand to their greatest potential. The challenges my bosses put before me stretched me in ways that made me better. These opportunities forced me to learn far more than if I had just remained safely in my box. They recognized my capabilities and pushed me out of my “comfort zone.”