Your power as a leader comes from being a good steward of their dreams. Your ability to lead, and your perceived ability to lead, is directly related to your connection to those intangibles. That’s why emotional intelligence and empathy are such a big deal when it comes to being an effective leader. People have to trust that you have their best interest at heart, or all bets are off.
In the book, It’s Not About You, Bob Burg and John David Mann write about how the leader is a trustee of the intangibles.
You Become the Trustee of the Intangibles
As a leader, you take on the hopes, dreams, aspiration, and fears of the people you lead. Burg and Mann write:
“As a leader, you become the container of others’ hopes. When we say people put their trust in you, that is exactly what happens. They place their hopes and dreams, trust and faith, even their fears, in your hands, because these things feel too fragile, too big, too important, too valuable to hold onto by themselves. You become the trustee of their intangibles.”
You Hold Them Up
One of the key capabilities of a leader is to lift people up, when they can’t lift themselves. Burg and Mann write:
“Like a good chair. You hold them. Believe in them when they forget how to believe in themselves.”
You are the Steward, Not the Deal
Always remember that the reason you are the leader, is because you are the steward of their dreams. Burg and Mann write:
“But, you are not their dreams, you are only the steward of those dreams. And leaders too often get it backwards and start thinking they not only hold the best of others but that they are that best. They start thinking they are the deal. And the moment you begin thinking that it’s all about you, that you’re the deal, is the moment you being losing your capacity to positively influence other’s lives. In a word, to lead.”
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Photo by Hamed Saber.