People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. This applies to employees, children, students or volunteers--whoever sees you as a leader. Caring meets one of six fundamental human needs, that when fulfilled, your team can achieve Passionate Performance.

But like most things held true and important for leaders--integrity, trust, confidence, teamwork, vision--caring is just a concept. You only make a real difference for your team and family when you convert concepts into action.

I recently spoke with Jim Walker who is an enthusiastic reader of my content and an excellent leader himself. 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.

  • When I was at work he noticed me.
  • When I needed to go home to care for an ill parent, he supported me.
  • When I was in need of career guidance, he provided it.
  • When I obsessed to achieve perfection, he pointed to my excellence as enough.
  • When I wanted just responsibility, he reminded me with authority comes accountability.
  • When I needed a smile, he provided it.
  • When I was in need of encouragement, he recognized and gave it.
  • When I made a mistake, he referred to it as a learning opportunity.
  • When I helped a co-worker develop their skills, he applauded it.
  • When I was sad, he reflected it.
  • When I said something wrong, he helped me re-phrase it.
  • When I needed a friend at work to this day, he appears.

Are you ready for a caring challenge? It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Print this column.
  2. Review the caring actions that Jim Walker shared in his account.
  3. Once per day for the next week, perform a caring act. 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 to act caring.

I would love to hear about how caring acts changed your world.