The people that look to you for leadership will put up with imperfect, but the one thing they’d like in return is for you to really care about them.
Leaders who make big promises that their organizations struggle to keep don’t realize that those promises also bind their people. Sooner or later, those broken promises always land in the lap of those on the front line. In that moment, what the employee really wants most is to know someone cares.
That someone is the Leader because that person must set the tone. Acting like it isn’t enough.
Leaders (if they’re really great ones) do the emotional labor of caring all the time. They present the best version of themselves they’re capable of. When they show up every day, their people would like to believe that they’re as engaged and enthusiastic about being there as they were the day before. On those days when they’re not, what really matters is that their people can’t tell the difference.
As a leader, if you care, that’s great. If you don’t, understand this. The hardest part of your job will always be caring.
Acting like it won’t cut it.
Never has, never will.