You can learn much about a person by the way they treat others that have little to offer. Compare how individuals at different levels in your company treat their subordinates, their superiors and peers. You’ll find that many people treat their subordinates differently than they do their peers, and not in a good way. To expand the scope beyond those in our chain of command, consider the janitorial staff. Do you notice that many people that treat you well as a peer treat support staff with disdain?
One trait of a great leader is their ability to find something good and worthy in everyone they meet. A great leaders has an uncanny ability of making each person feel that they are important. He finds a way to use his subordinates’ skills and qualities, giving his employees encouragement and support to excel with their strengths. These leaders inspire those around them to achieve more. Their subordinates so admire their leader, that they work tirelessly for their leader’s praise.
On the other hand, a manager who aspires to be a leader, but doesn’t have the ability (or desire) to find worthiness in each of his, will find that his employees don’t or won’t follow his lead. His team tends to splinter and doesn’t work well together. When his employees gather, it’s not to brainstorm or plan, but to gripe and gossip about their manager. This kind of ‘leader’ thinks that by constantly oppressing his employees, they’ll fear him, and dare not to disappoint him.
The ability to ‘read people’ is just one aspect of being a great leader. Leaders at all levels of seniority should seek leadership training. Even CEO’s can find mentors or coaches who have something useful to share. No one is above learning more, particularly with a life skill like leadership. A world-renowned leadership trainer is the American Management Association. They offer leadership training delivered by highly qualified and experienced trainers, but at a high price. For a wider variety of training that may meet your organization’s budget, search at Seminars For Managers. If in-person training is out of the question, then find a highly acclaimed book. Everyone who aspires to be a leader must learn from those who have traveled the road before. So pick up a book, attend a seminar or learn from a personal mentor. You’ll be that much closer to achieving your goal.