Civil rights activist Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
This is especially true for those in leadership roles. They are remembered best for emotionally and intellectually engaging and motivating their employees to do and be their best.
Consequently, how leaders make people feel in their jobs will have the greatest impact on their performance.
Truly motivating and engaging workers, and getting them emotionally excited about their work, starts with good leadership.
To know whether you fit the bill of a leader, answer these two questions.
Are you intentionally building relationships?
Building relationships doesn't have to be difficult. Rashada Whitehead, head of culture, diversity, and inclusion at Grant Thornton, notes, "The simple practice of saying 'good morning' to team members, the ability to call someone by name, or connecting back to a moment or story that matters demonstrates that people and relationships are a priority beyond a profit."
What this comes down to is fairly simple. It means taking an interest in those you lead at the human level and not treating them like just an employee whose sole purpose is to complete tasks for you.
Good leaders open up the room for discussion, healthy debate, and the exchange of ideas to get to know team members on a deeper level. They ask for people's opinions to help them get to know those who might not otherwise approach them. This helps to build trust among employees and bolsters employee retention.
Are you guiding people with an inspiring vision?
A leader's highest priority should be to guide employees through uncertainty and the unexpected to assuage fears amidst the unknown. To do that, a clear vision of the immediate future should be communicated to your employees -- one with a simple, not complicated or confusing, message that sticks in people's minds and inspires them to action.
In his new book The Vision Driven Leader, best-selling author Michael Hyatt says that when it comes to leadership, vision is key. So much so that he's willing to call vision the essential ingredient for successful leadership.
In the Covid-19 era, if you're leading a team but don't know where you're going, it shows up as hesitancy or self-doubt. Vision, Hyatt states, allows you to know where you're going, and gives you the confidence to get your team there.