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Daily Leadership Thought #79 – People Are Like Snowflakes

January 14, 2011

Free Woman Blowing Snow Outdoors Stock Photo

People are complex.  The truth in life is that every person you lead, manage, do business with or meet is an individual.  We are all unique like snowflakes with each of us different in some way, shape, or form.   Experts often try to categorize people or attempt to make it easy to interpret/predict their actions and motivations, but it is never quite that simple.   As a leader or manager, you need to connect with the individual not just the group.  This is why leadership is more of an art than a science.

True leadership ability (often referred to as charisma) is just the ability to make people feel special.  It involves listening to what people have to say and making eye contact.  It is noticing personal cues and using positive body language in response.  It is acknowledging people’s talents and positive attributes and making them feel good about themselves.  And, it is communicating that you genuinely care about them and what they are going through – good, bad, or otherwise.  Of course, life is not always a rose garden and bad things do happen.  However, the best way to navigate whatever life throws at you is to be surrounded by other people who feel their own destiny is positively aligned with your own.  It also makes the high points even better.

Take the time to personally get to know your colleagues, co-workers, clients, and neighbors.  It could make all the difference in the long run and isn’t as difficult as you might think.  The truth is that “no man (or woman) is an island.” We all must coexist with one another.  Everyone, including you, likes to feel personally acknowledged and special.  We all also like to feel a sense of personal value and contribution.  Everyone wants to matter (to someone).  To be effective, all leaders must understand and tap into this fact.