06 Mar 6 Steps to Peaceful Leadership
Want to become the next great leader? Take a tip from my dad!
When I was 13 I was earning spare cash by working at my fathers’ office. Although I was the general filing dogs’ body, I was provided the only available desk within the office of the CEO.
At the time, the company I was working for was the leading pharmaceutical firm in Australasia, with an executive team who each had been headhunted and employed with expectations of greatness.
My father was such a man.
It would be logical then to think that my life at home would have been lacking a fatherat dinnertime or on weekends due to the expectant needs of the executive position he held. But it was not.
I have fond memories of my childhood in a household that had two working parents, and yet I would have a hard time trying to recollect any time where my father was absent for the family dinner, or weekend adventure.
I learnt to respect my peaceful father, who always talked softly, was forever courteous to all he met, and who always had time in his busy schedule to console a crying daughter when I scuffed my knee.
My father was a leading executive in a busy corporate world, yet never once did I feel the stress he may have brought home with him; never once did I feel I couldn’t run to him with arms flailing.
Thus when I went to work for his company two afternoons a week after school as a teenager, I watched silently for any signs of a tyrannical leader.
There were none.
I often listened quietly as important business meetings came to a close with action lists long enough to compete with those in today’s world, but for the next person to enter his office there was no shred of intent left from the meeting before. My father had moved on both swiftly and professionally. He was the picture of decorum and peace. Yet year on year he increased profitability for that company, had an extremely low staff attrition rate, and still is well known, although long retired, in the world he walked.
I learned a valuable lesson from the years I spent watching my father in action – “Create a raving fan base of your employees and they will do remarkable things on your behalf”.
Here are the 6 principles I learnt from my peaceful mentor who was my father:
- Be compassionate – Your employees have lives and families too
- Be appreciative – Your employees don’t need you, you need them!
- Be kind – a generous question goes far further than a stabbing demand
- Be present – Do not take the emotions from a frustrating meeting with you to the next meeting. Your audience is expecting you to bring your best you.
- Share your passion – When you show a level of excitement and passion for your company, your employees can’t help but catch that fever
- Talk with confidence, but slowly and gently. This principle commands attention far more than being loud and trying to get your point across in brevity!
Many of today’s inspiring business leaders also exhibit these traits. For companies where there is high staff turn over, I would guess the business leaders do not. Obviously my father was on to something!