going first eating lastThere are certain qualities which are common to nearly all business leaders in senior corporate positions; a strong grasp of strategic management, a clear vision for the future, technical expertise and a strong desire to move forward successfully. However there are some leaders that appear to naturally inspire their colleagues to strive to achieve more. Leaders that have a workforce prepared to work harder and better to allow the company to grow and prosper. What is it about these people that make others want to do more for them? An intriguing theory is that getting the best from people is all about creating an environment of mutual trust, where colleagues will do their utmost to help because they believe you would do the same for them.

Inspiring Trust
Building an atmosphere of trust within an organisation is a gradual process which may require a significant alteration in the way everyone involved behaves. Change has to start at the top, with CEOs and other senior personnel demonstrating a genuine commitment to caring for their staff and nurturing them through adversity. In a relationship sometimes defined as that which a parent has with their child, leaders are invited to treat their workforce as valuable individuals who should be coached, supported and listened to.

Allow People To Feel Safe
Would you feel safe if you had the threat of redundancy hanging over your head? Would you want to cooperate with an organisation that sanctioned you for not meeting performance targets? If your organisation is operating in a manner which makes people feel unsafe, they won’t want to work with you to help achieve your objectives. Think about a constructive parent/child relationship. How do parents help their child to feel safe? Do children respond best to rewards or punishment? Would you make your child redundant? It is the answer to these questions which will shape the way a successful leader will operate.

Care For Your Staff
Once you shift your focus from profits to people, almost invariably the bottom line takes care of itself. When leaders care about their workforce and put them first, workers instinctively respond with great willingness to go the extra mile. Using the analogy of a parent/child relationship again, if a child breaks a plate whilst drying up, what is a caring course of action for the parent to take? Any parent would tell you their primary consideration is whether the child has cut itself on the shards. Once they are assured that their child is safe, perhaps the parent might take the opportunity to find out how the accident happened and suggest how to do things differently next time, to reduce the risk of breakages occurring. Notice the qualities the parent displays; caring, coaching and listening. How could you, as a leader, translate this attitude into the workplace?

The Results of Putting Your Colleagues First
When you act in an open, caring and trusting manner, you will almost invariably find that people respond similarly. Implementing corporate practices which put people at the heart of the organisation and putting the needs of your workers first leads to a culture of caring. This extends outwards in growing circles of success. If you demonstrate your care for colleagues, this in turn will allow them to care more about the work they do and empower them to use their best efforts to effect lasting positive change within your organisation.

This is an innovative leadership concept which challenges many values which have traditionally been hallmarks of strong corporate leaders. If you truly want to transform your company for the better, creating a culture of unconditional trust and caring has the potential to allow your entire organisation to aim higher and achieve more. Why not implement this cutting-edge philosophy for successful leadership and see how caring more for people than profits can ultimately result in stronger performance against all your corporate goals?

Georgina Stewart
Georgina Stewart has worked in the executive search business for a number of years and has been lucky enough to recruit for various international and local organisations. She currently works for Marble Hill Partners, who help provide interim management. Connect with her at her Member Profile.
Georgina Stewart

@marblehillltd

Specialists in building management teams for #PrivateEquity backed businesses. Tweeting news, analysis, commentary and insight on private equity happenings.
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Georgina Stewart
Georgina Stewart