An exciting part of my coaching practice is when I have an opportunity to interview innovative leaders and their reports. When I interview their reports they share the unique magical aspects that make their managers such incredible leaders.
Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baxter International, Harry Kraemer, has written a back to basics book on value- based leadership: From Values to Action. He presents four interconnected principles that are key ingredients to effective leadership.
The first principle is self-reflection. “If you do not know yourself, how can you lead yourself? If you cannot lead yourself, how can you possibly lead others?” Self- reflection makes it possible to answer key questions like, what is most important? and What should we be doing? This provides clarity and makes sure you’re in line with your strengths and values and organizational goals. Leaders need to be clear on their Myers Briggs personality type so they are aware of their natural strengths and opportunity areas.
The next principle is balance and perspective, being able to understand all sides of an issue. Kraemer says, “My task was to recognize when a particular perspective offered by one of my team members was the best answer.” He uses the term life balance over work-life balance because it’s not an either or proposition. The leaders that have the magic know how to focus on balance in their career and personal life as well!
The third principle, true self-confidence is knowing what you know and what you don’t know. Leadership is not about always needing to be right. The final principle is genuine humility. Genuine humility helps you recognize that you ought to respect everyone equally and not treat anyone differently just because of a job title. I learned this skill from my Dad who always respected every person he encountered in such a positive engaging way.
Kraemer describes a leader well: “Self –reflection increases self-awareness. Balance encourages the individual to seek out different perspectives from all team members and to change their mind when appropriate in order to make the best possible decisions. With true self-confidence, they easily share credit with their team. Genuine humility allows them to connect with everyone because no one is more important than anyone else.” These principles can be applied to individual contributors or individuals in leadership roles and the magic will appear!