Hallmark movies have been playing all month vividly illustrating the good heartedness and sacrifice of the season. As Christmas ends we’ll begin to think about New Year’s resolutions and the desire to shore up our shortcomings. Now is a great time to be reminded that there are some gifts only great leaders can give. It takes great leaders to find and purchase these gifts but I promise, they’re exactly what everyone wants… but only great leaders can give them.
In order for someone to move from being led to being a leader, that person must transition from receiving credit to giving credit. Everyone loves seeing their name on a marquee; it is inspiring to know we matter and are needed. As a leader, giving recognition needs to be done both privately and publicly, and it’s a gift everyone loves to receive. Give the gift of credit!
“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worse when they despise him. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” Lao-Tse 2,500 years ago,
Leaders have a special way of breeding a “you can do this” confidence in others. By nature of their influence, leaders build confidence in ways others can’t. Hearing “I have faith in you” or “You did an awesome job” is what fosters confidence, and hearing it from those we respect gives a special “add shot” to the confidence mix. Leaders need to be confidence builders. Give the gift of confidence!
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” – British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
Leaders hand out responsibility, but when responsibility doesn’t come with authority: frustration, complication and hassle win the day. Responsibility with no authority is like having a car with no gas; give your people the authority to follow through. This means you give them permission to make it happen— to be empowered. Empowerment comes from not just giving someone a job, but also giving that person the authority to pull it all together and make it happen. Give the gift of authority!
Leadership was not only about taking charge, it was also about giving your team everything they needed to succeed, and then getting out of their way. – Brad Thor
Credit, confidence and authority are related. The more credit we pass on, the more confidence we breed; as confidence grows, so does the responsibility and authority. Ironically there is a limitless supply and we can give them at our leisure. So as we move into the new year, give what only you as a leader can give.
Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success
Six Ways We Help Our Children Become Leaders