Work Is a Sacred Trust

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2. Others. Leadership is the promise of development. People need three things to grow: opportunities, challenges, and relationship. It is your job as a leader to be sure, over time, that your people are getting all three. They need opportunities to use their abilities to make a difference, challenges that stretch them without breaking them, and relationships in which they are known and celebrated and told the truth about themselves.

One of my most memorable moments working on staff at a large hospital was when I was speaking for the first time to one of the top executives. I introduced myself and she immediately said, "I know who you are." I was 22 years old. I have never forgotten that phrase. It was powerful to be noticed and made me want to do a good job.

3. The Organization. Organizations - not just individual people - are important. Organizations, as a collection of people, allow us to accomplish things we could not do on our own. As a leader it is your responsibility to make sure that meetings are compelling, that they are places where collaborative (not consensus, which Patrick Lencioni defines as "mutually agreed upon mediocrity") decisions are processed and made, a place where goals are set and people are held accountable for those, where short-term and long-term gains are celebrated and lack of success is autopsied and learned from.

Leadership is a sacred trust.

March22, 2007 at 8:45 PM

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