Your leadership ability depends largely on how your followers perform and react under your leadership influence. After all, your people are a reflection of you and your behavior.
The biggest impact you will make on their lives will not just come from how smart you are or how much you have personally accomplished as a leader. The biggest impact you will make in their lives is when you show how much sincere belief you have in them. How much through your words, actions and behaviors you let them know how much they matter to you and the organization.
Knowing you matter is a universal human need and leaders who tap into that need will be appreciated and will influence and inspire other emerging leaders to use the same model as they grow and develop.
Here are some ways to inspire the importance of gratitude with your group of talented people:
Be open: Share your knowledge and expertise freely along with valuable information about the company. The truth is, there is very little in your organization which cannot be shared. The classified information hierarchy only exists in government and the military and I doubt that is the culture you desire.
Be fair: This is tough since very little is truly fair in this life. Seek to attain win-wins between you and your people. Strive toward making decisions that include both risk and benefit for all team members, including you. Determine to make sure there is clarity in communication to all concerning the details.
Be available: Make sure you make yourself accessible when needed, don’t make them always have to figure it out on their own. Remember, if they were as responsible as you thought they should be, they would probably be your competition.
Be respectful: Those who desire respect, freely give it. Every human being deserves respect, how much more do those who have chosen to be on your team deserve? After all, they have chosen to be in this under your guidance. Be a model of respectful behavior to copy for others.
Be accepting: If you are a smart leader, you’ve brought some people onto your team with talents, skills, behaviors and motivations which are very different from your own. Sometimes, it difficult to bond with those who are so different than we are, but those who do create an accepting bond which knows no bounds in gratitude from those who desire to be accepted.
Be humble: Only the humble improve! Set an example of someone who has been the beneficiary of hard work and diligence of execution while maintaining a check in the ego department. Leaders need ego to do their job, a healthy sense of themselves and they set boundaries for it so it doesn’t cause a problem for them.
Be thankful: Let people know how much what they do means to you and the organization. Exercise the power of appreciation which is activated when people know you notice them and their contributions.