A major point of leadership as I teach and practice it is to learn the interests of your teammates and to share yours with them.
If you only care about and focus on behavior and external incentives, you’re stuck leading by authority. You can’t create meaning or purpose in the work you lead people to do. Meaning and purpose come from connecting people emotions to their work.
Even if you aren’t leading someone, knowing teammates’ motivations helps teams function more like teams. Sharing your motivations, especially strong ones, makes you vulnerable but also creates intimacy, which creates trust, predictability, and other elements of effective teamwork.
Have the two current presidential candidates revealed why they want to become President?
I don’t mean, have they revealed their positions or interests on issues. I mean, what motivates them to become President. People can want the same goals for different reasons. We can guess at their reasons, but no guess will ever be perfect and, even if it was, we wouldn’t and couldn’t know it.
Without knowing their motivations, our teamwork with them suffers. If we don’t think of a President as part of our team, what are they?
Why does Hillary Clinton want to be President? How does it make her life better? If you have an answer, what do you base it on? Something she deliberately communicated or guesswork? If just guesswork, how often have people who know you better than you know her guessed wrong about your greatest passions?
Same with Trump. Why does he want to be President? How does it make his life better? If you have an answer, what do you base it on? Something he deliberately communicated or guesswork?
I put to you that neither has shared his or her passions with us, both are unpredictable, and neither is acting like a teammate. Maybe I’m missing something, which I’d be happy to admit, as learning what I missed would give me confidence in our future President.
In the meantime, I lament the candidates protecting themselves at our expense.
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