Management theorist Simon Sinek speaks about what makes us feel safe behind great leaders. In a time of uncertain economic times, feeling secure in a job or position can be a great comfort in an ever-changing professional climate. Feeling safe and secure behind your managers or supervisors can change the way you approach your work and the motivation you feel to complete important tasks for a company.
In the military, they give medals to people who are willing to sacrifice themselves so that others may gain. In business, we give bonuses to people who are willing to sacrifice others so that we may gain.
But where do these people come from? Sinek suggests that altering a workplace environment could be the key to creating and encouraging great leadership. Trust and cooperation are important in any environment, but they’re feelings—not instructions. You can’t tell someone to cooperate and trust you, they have to feel it. But how can you do that?
According to Sinek, an environment that is safe and secure encourages trust and cooperation in order to keep the environment safe and secure. In modern times, there are numerous dangers that seek to limit or restrict success and opportunities.
Great leaders create an environment where others can feel that their needs and lives come before anything else—in business, perhaps your boss makes you feel this way by giving you time off when you request it, praising you for your accomplishments and challenging you. Leaders may fall short by sacrificing the time and effort of their employees in order to take long vacations or take three hours for lunch.
A great leader is very similar to being a great parent—you give your child opportunities, discipline when they need it, education, self confidence.
Are you a great leader? Is your boss a great leader? What kind of changes can you make to gain the trust and cooperation of your employees?