3 QUICK JOLTS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT
I once had a co-worker who loved to comment that I was "so nice." I knew it wasn't meant as a compliment, but I took it as one. I knew something she didn't. It takes a strong will to lead with grace.
- It doesn't mean being a pushover. You can hold your team accountable without being a jerk. Have the difficult conversations one-on-one. Institute tough but fair standards. Demonstrate the value of the person at every opportunity. Hold a hard line without becoming a hard person.
- It does mean giving people space to grow, fail, and learn. Grace filled leadership is about leading with principles, not rules. Which means those you lead will need to find their own way. Push towards excellence and understand that there will be times they come up short. When we focus on principles, it teaches people how to reason rather than blindly obey.
- It does mean being comfortable in your own skin. Insecure leaders hurt people. Gracious leaders recognize the need to surround themselves with other strong and growing leaders, valuing differing strengths and ideas. It means allowing those you lead to disagree with you. You are teaching them how to build an argument; forcing them into lockstep is subverting your responsibility as a leader.
Here is a random fun fact that I love. According to creator David Kohan, the inspiration for the characters of the hit TV show, "Will and Grace" was inspired by a quote from Jewish theologian Marin Buber's I and Thou, "You need the will to pursue a relationship with God, and the grace to receive it." The quote describes two complementary elements of faith, and Kohan thought they would be great names in a story with two complementary people.
Do you have the will to be a grace-filled leader?