By my kid’s standards, I have been on the road a lot this summer. Now, I know the schedules of many road warriors and my travel pales in comparison, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is how the concept of caring leadership struck me one night while spending time with my son. This simple moment illuminated the profound impact of genuine care in leadership.
The Night That Reshaped My Perspective
After a few hectic weeks of constant trips consisting of keynotes, workshops, meetings, and some great social time spent with amazing people, being back at the Molitor Household opens the door to an endless list of possibilities and surprises of what might transpire. On this particular night, I had returned home after spending three days in Nashville where I traveled to deliver a keynote on “Keys to Engagement” for an amazing client in the biopharma and biotech industry, and in addition a handful of meetings that included some of the participants in our 90-Day LICP program.
As we went to bed and I sat on the couch finishing up emails, EJ was sitting in my chair bouncing back and forth between the Cubs game and Loud House on tv. He looked at me and said, “Dad, I’ve got an idea.” At 10:20 pm who knows where this is going with him… I was just praying it had something to do with sleep.
He said: “Dad, we could sleep down here tonight.” To me this was a done deal!
By morning we had switched spots. EJ was on the couch where I slept (sort of) and I sat in my chair we he slept (like a rock) and the dog is doing what the dog does….sleeping in her bed like she had a hard day yesterday and is exhausted. But something really cool happened when I first sat down. Bailey, our six-year-old Lab got up, walked over to where EJ was sitting, and checked him out. No doubt making sure the kid was ok. Labs, in general, are incredible with kids and seem to take care of the whole family while keeping things fun and interesting.
This unexpected moment reminded me of the importance of being present for those we lead. How great coaching leaders have the ability to connect with and care for their people while keeping things in perspective no matter how hard they are driving and how chaotic their world seems to be.
Characteristics of Caring Leaders
Leaders who connect and care are:
- Curious and interested: They take a genuine interest in their team members, asking questions, and showing curiosity about their lives and work.
- Physically and mentally present: Being fully present when engaging with their team, both physically and mentally, fosters trust and connection.
- Personable and authentic: Authenticity is key. Being yourself and showing vulnerability when appropriate can create strong bonds.
- Approachable and available: Great leaders are approachable, and they make themselves available to their team members when needed.
Unlocking the Benefits of Caring Leadership
Being a genuinely caring leader will act as a competitive advantage.
Picture this: a leadership approach that not only fosters engagement but also equips you to confidently steer through uncertainty, adapt swiftly, enhance receptiveness, and cultivate a culture of continuous growth. This is the essence of caring leadership, where genuine concern becomes your secret weapon for achieving extraordinary results. It will help you:
- Increase your capacity to foster engagement When your team knows you genuinely care, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work.
- Positively navigate ambiguity Caring leaders create a sense of security, which is crucial when dealing with uncertain situations.
- Adapt to situations and circumstances faster A team that feels cared for is more flexible and adaptable.
- Absorb information at a better clip When people feel valued, they tend to be more receptive and attentive.
- Drive a culture of growth and development Caring leaders inspire growth and development in their team members.
Success at the highest level is hard. No matter how hard you are driving, how cutthroat of an industry you are in, and how brutal things can get, remember this: keep doing the right thing and leading with your heart.
Compassion and resilience go hand in hand.
Caring, competing, relentlessly pursuing success, and mental toughness are all connected.
When you genuinely care for and connect with your external and internal stakeholders, peers, and team members, you will achieve an incredible amount of success together. They become more engaged, adaptable, and driven to succeed, just as my son’s simple idea to sleep downstairs brought joy and connection.
Ready to embrace caring leadership and unlock its potential within your team or organization? Start by sharing your experiences and insights in the comments below or by connecting through email. Let’s engage in a meaningful conversation about the impact of caring leadership. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more leadership insights and strategies to help you lead with heart.