Truly caring is a difficult challenge given the fact that most executives fantasize about the day that they have no one to manage! So much of leadership consists of this caring element. Caring for ourselves, our people, customers, and the bottom line. Sounds pretty exhausting.
The fact is, half of all leaders do this caring thing better than the other half. Since like attracts like, if your leadership caring quotient is a 5 out of 10, it will be tough to attract or retain people with a higher caring quotient.
Although intentions are important, actions speak louder than words. Just how are you showing people that you care? Or do you assume that they somehow know you do? Let’s say that you rank 4, 6, or 8 out of 10 on the scale.
What would be the impact to your business and life if you were able to notch it up a few steps?
What if you could actually train yourself to be better at caring?
One of the challenges we face is that we’re all running so hard that it seems as though we don’t have the time to show we care to our loved ones, employees, customers, and God forbid, ourselves. When I ask executives how they feel, many of them will respond “What do you mean?”
My response is, “Exactly.” When they dig into how they feel, it’s often not so good. Often their preferred response is to keep running right past it.
If you want to make a difference in peoples’ lives, including your own, then start caring more! Begin by noticing how you feel. Don’t shut it off or run away from it. Care for yourself.
As you do so, you’ll be able to give more because you’ll have more to give. It won’t seem like a stressor, but rather a blessing. It won’t be energy depleting, but energy enhancing.
A few additional thoughts:
- Our greatest gift is the ability to be caring toward others. To be of service.
- Chances are you can do a better job than you’re doing right now. We all can.
- As the Bible states, “Heal thyself.” This is where it begins. It’s not being selfish; it’s ancient wisdom.
- Don’t just tell yourself or others that you care! Show it! Begin by expressing your gratitude or thanks, or by acknowledging what’s going right.
- The biggest trap I see us fall into in our hero or leadership roles is over-commitment. We try to control too much. We put more on our plate than we can possibly handle and then we beat ourselves up when we don’t reach perfection. Then when we’re finished doing that we have to watch how we treat others. This is not caring.
- Caring doesn’t have to be an exhausting sacrificial affair. Make sure that your efforts “feel right” or don’t do them.