By Lolly Daskal
Leadership isn’t easy. Every day brings a new set of challenges and obstacles. In my work as a leadership coach, I see the way my clients are constantly bombarded with problems, issues, complications and crises. The choices they make as they tackle these day-to-day challenges are a big part of what defines them as a great leader or a good leader (or in some cases a bad leader).
But leadership comes with its own set of rewards, as well—benefits that reflect both your own leadership values and the commitment and character of the people you’re leading. Here are seven of the most important things a leader should never take for granted:
Loyalty. If your employees are faithful in good times and bad, if they stand beside your leadership and have your back, you are the beneficiary of their loyalty.
Trust. If you have employees who are willing to do everything you ask of them, who believe in your vision and don’t second-guess your judgment, you are benefiting from the tremendous power of trust.
Effective meetings. Far too many organizations have meetings for the sake of having meetings, which is why meetings are viewed as such notorious time wasters. If your leadership produces effective meetings—short, structured and successful—you and your people benefit.
A happy workplace. If you’ve ever spent time in a toxic workplace, one where people are stressed out and cynical and the atmosphere is filled mistrust and tension, you understand the value of a culture in which people feel happy and productive. Positive leaders create positive cultures, so give yourself credit if you’ve succeeded on that score.
Hard-working people. If your leadership is based in pestering, controlling, micromanaging and driving people, you’re taking your team for granted. If you’re fortunate enough to be leading a group of hard-working people who put their hearts into everything they do, stop and be thankful. Look for ways to show your appreciation to keep bringing out the best of your people.
Work-life balance. Leadership and work-life balance don’t naturally go together—that’s why so much of my time working with clients is spent coaching them in that area. If your personal and professional lives are in balance, be grateful. If they aren’t, keep working to achieve that goal for yourself and your team.
Health. It’s often been said because it’s a fundamental truth: people don’t appreciate good health until they no longer have it. If you’re well, remember to be thankful. And if you’re not well, devote the time you need to caring for yourself.
This is what I’ve found to be universally true: the less you take for granted and the more gratitude you feel and express, the more happiness, productivity and success you will have as a leader.
Lead from within: When you are given the responsibility to lead, you’re also given the opportunity to be a positive influence many people’s lives. Never take that responsibility, or that opportunity, for granted.