By: Tom Newhouse in Leadership, 2 years ago

A Shot is a poignant leadership tip from “a rifle.”  Yes, leadership coach, Tom Newhouse, uses a rifle from his farming heritage to “tell it like it is.” —­­

RUDY WAS A SENSITIVE GUY.  Yep, a tough farmer, leading the whole operation complete with hired men, livestock, and fields of grain—and sensitive.  On more than one occasion he brought me into a situation to clean things up, like disposing of his special collie dog when it took to eating Mother’s chickens.  But he was sensitive, caring, concerned and deep down, kind.  He liked people and he desired to do right by them.  This undergirded his leadership.


So, what’s wrong with caring?  What’s right about it?  Wrong–I suppose you could argue that it gets in the way and makes one too emotional to make the tough calls.  To be arbitrary, you might say, is good.  It’s to rely on facts, logic, analysis—cool, calculated decision making and execution.  Right—aahh, yes:  Leaders lead people, not things!  People.  Let that sink in.  People make up departments and organizations.  And they follow leaders who tap into their lives—their emotions, their hopes, their worries, their interests.  Add to all that, peoples’ needs for identity, meaning, dignity, belonging.  Leaders want their followers’ engagement, and they need to earn it.  True leaders make the tough calls, do the hard things, and in doing them, they’re sensitive.  They care for others and show it. 

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