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Home > Blog > "What is the No. 1 Job of a Leader?"
Out of Our Minds
Saturday, November 12, 2005 10:30 AM
"What is the No. 1 Job of a Leader?"
Anita Sharpe on Business

'Show Appreciation.' That's according to a Boeing pamphlet, related by Stonyfield Farm founder Gary Hirshberg.


2 comments

Adrian Savage - 11/12/2005 3:53:51 PM
Leading -- setting the direction, pace and intended outcome of the actions of a group of people. All the rest are means to this end, often worthwhile means, but just means nonetheless.
Chris Bailey - 11/12/2005 11:15:05 AM
Hmmm...interesting. I'll both agree and disagree with that.

I'll agree with the importance of showing appreciation to those around you. And add that 'showing' isn't enough. A leader must elaborate on what they appreciate while at the same time making it about the other person. Instead of saying, 'You did a great job on that project,' say, 'Here's what I liked about what you did' The latter is specific and allows for the other person to make their own meaning from the appreciative feedback.

Now, for a disagreement...I think the #1 job of a leader is to connect the thoughts and actions of others to a larger goal. You can show appreciation all day, but does it move others in a new direction? Or does it merely reflect where they are right now? The great leaders of people take reality, stretch it to create a dynamic future, then make it seem both challenging and possible to attain. Appreciation will be simply one of the tools to get there.

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