People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. This applies to employees, children, students, a volunteer committee - whoever sees you as a leader.

Caring meets one of six fundamental human needs, that when fulfilled, ignites Passionate Performance in your team.

But like most things we hold true and important for leaders - integrity, trust, confidence, teamwork, vision - caring is just a concept. We only make a real difference for our teams, our families, our followers, when we translate concepts into action.

I recall speaking with Jim Walker of Alliant Energy. Jim is an enthusiastic reader of our blog and books, and he is also an excellent leader. He shared this account that helped me really see the actions of caring.

Here it is...

I recently ran into a former colleague who I had not seen in many years. As we discussed how fast the years have gone by he shared how often he had kept in contact with one of his former managers we had both known for a long time.

When I inquired why they had kept in touch over the years he stated, "He always cared." I was somewhat perplexed to what he meant by "he cared".

He described it this way.

  1. When I was at work he noticed me.
  2. When I needed to go home to care for an ill parent, he supported me.
  3. When I was in need of career guidance, he provided it.
  4. When I obsessed to achieve perfection, he pointed to my excellence as enough.
  5. When I needed a smile, he provided it.
  6. When I was in need of encouragement, he recognized and gave it.
  7. When I was sad, he reflected it.
  8. When I said something wrong, he helped me re-phrase it.
  9. When I needed a friend at work to this day, he appears.

So, are you ready for a caring challenge? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Print or bookmark this blog post.

Review the caring actions that Jim Walker shared in his account above.

Once per day for the next week, perform a caring act. (Caution: caring thoughts are great, but caring acts change lives and change the world).

Your acts can start a positive ripple effect that is felt by many people and many miles away.

Who cares? We all care!

We just need convert our caring thoughts into caring acts.