Lead with R.E.G.A.R.D.

Originally published at jimcanterucci.com

Although at this moment I have Aretha Franklin in my head singing R.E.S.P.E.C.T., related to leadership I like the word R.E.G.A.R.D. better. (Don’t worry I’m not going to make it an acronym.)

We’re parsing definitions but the distinction is important as a leadership lesson. There is something in the definition of regard that is important to leadership — “a protective interest” which sets the word regard apart.

A crucial responsibility of a leader is to show a protective interest in their team. This regard for the team translates into engagement and cohesion as a team.

Care | Empathize

You can’t be a great leader if it is about you, your development and your career. Your efforts must be outward focused toward your team. Regard requires that you care. You have to care. You have to show you care. Each small interaction should be fused with your caring. You care about the person, the mission, and how the person will grow in any situation. Facilitating that growth is motivated by how much you care.

Empathy, understanding the perspective of a person and leading from that perspective is important.

Lead from within

The old “Boss” apart from the workers, issuing edicts from the ivory tower, treating humans as a resource just doesn’t work anymore. We shouldn’t be nostalgic for the old days either. You should actively fight anything that appears like that because it shows a disregard for people and their contribution to success.

Rather, lead from within. Be a part of things. Be a member of the team. Lead by example. Listen. Teach. Support.

Explain

A high performance team understands the objectives. If a leader makes a choice and a team member doesn’t understand the connection to the objective a serious disconnect develops. In the paragraph above you see the word teach. Part of a leader’s job is to explain what’s happening and why, constantly tying things back to the objectives.

Explaining serves as a test of your thinking. This is a good thing. Also, sometimes you’re trying one possible alternative and hoping it works. That’s OK. It’s important to explain what’s happening though. You are all one team. Explaining reduces the separation.

Do you and your team hold each other in high regard? How do you show it?

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