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To make elephant jump -- not now and then but consistently, i.e., to lead people to consistently do great things -- deep, human emotional bonding between leader and people must take place. And fundamental to that bonding is nature of heart of leader.
This is secret: You can't get elephant to jump unless you have a kind heart. Kindness in leadership means following Leadership Imperative: "I will lead people in such a way that we not only achieve needed results but they become better as leaders and people."
Most leaders focus on first part "getting better results" and forget about second part. But in truth, when you have a kind heart, getting results and helping people be better are not two things but one.
From now on, see every leadership challenge you face as a way of having people increase their knowledge, their skills, their courage, their tenacity, and their leadership abilities. Cultivating that perspective is a kindness.
But don't mistake kindness for being nice. Don't mistake kindness for having people simply feel good. Don't mistake kindness for allowing people to indulge worst aspects of their character, laziness, inconsiderateness, selfishness, etc.
Furthermore, you may be kind and have people be frustrated with you. Many great leaders I've had relationships with got me frustrated as they had me go through trouble of tackling challenges I might not otherwise have tackled. (In fact, deep, human, emotional bonding cannot happen without a great deal of frustration.) But I was motivated despite my frustrations because I recognized that they essentially had my best interests at heart.
Yes, through skill, persuasiveness, understanding, forcefulness, education, and guidance, you can get elephant to jump -- as long as you do it through kindness of your heart.
2005 © The Filson Leadership Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author of 23 books, Brent Filson's recent books are, THE LEADERSHIP TALK: THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP TOOL and 101 WAYS TO GIVE GREAT LEADERSHIP TALKS. He has been helping leaders of top companies worldwide get audacious results. Sign up for his free leadership e-zine and get a free white paper: "49 Ways To Turn Action Into Results," at http://www.actionleadership.com