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Three Important Traits of a Friendly Leader

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We all know the adage ‘nice guys always finish last’. People apply it to business, love and life, among so many things. Just because it’s a common truth – a traditional saying we all know – does it really mean it’s true?

Many argue that there are instances when it’s important to be the good guy and other times when you need to be the bad guy. However, in any of these scenarios, you can always kindly lead.

Short-term wolf of wall street world, those who care about no one else will win. You can get there faster by cheating, manipulating and using people because you don’t need them anymore. And because people are generally nice themselves, you’ll probably get away with it in the short term.

In the long run, however, you need reputation, relationships and trust. And if you want people to trust you, you have to treat them right. It is not a short-term strategy, but it is an extremely powerful and sustainable strategy that the business community as a whole must take into account.

Leadership takes many forms and definitions, but there is always room for ‘the nice guy’. This does not mean it is an intruder and it is not a weakness. Here are three qualities that a kind leader expresses.

people oriented

Kind leaders think about how their people want to work, what motivates them, and what inspires them. They focus on who the individual is and how to help them become the best person they can be while recognizing that people have lives outside the office as well as other responsibilities.

These types of leaders also strive to create a safe environment in which their people can excel. And if they see that you care about them, they will go the extra mile for you. Because when you focus on people, you show that you understand them, empathize with them and appreciate them.

Compassion is an important quality for any leader, especially since productivity will fluctuate and things can go wrong. (And sometimes the best lessons are learned from mistakes.) But instead of pointing the finger of blame, find out what happened and ask how you can help.

Leadership is about empowering your people and taking a step back, creating a sense of responsibility and trust. It’s about taking care of your people in every aspect and making work a place people really want to go to.

Transparent

Nobody is perfect. Acknowledging a mistake is just as important as communicating and congratulating your people on their successes. You are authentic and open and you show strength, courage and respect.

Friendly leaders lead the way with openness and authenticity. They don’t know everything and that’s why they employ the range of people they have. They praise good work and give credit where credit is due. With this they show that they value their people and give them more confidence and connection with the role they own.

Being open and honest in any organization is important, as is being authentic. As a leader, you need to be able to share how you feel and how things are going without fear. Make it clear what you know, what you intend to do, and what it means to people in a way that everyone will understand.

purposefully

Do what you say you’re going to do – it’s often that simple. Don’t say one thing and do another, or set rules for one employee that are different from the rules set up for everyone else. Lead with purpose, live and breathe the conversation, then experience the growth of trust and respect within your team.

There is always room to be nice. It doesn’t have to replace anything in your leadership toolbox; it just adds value to what you already have there.

In this way, I believe that the saying that “nice guys finish last” has no place in the business world these days. Leading with kindness means taking your team to the next level while creating a powerful, sustainable business model equipped to meet the challenges of an ever-evolving business landscape.


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