Would you describe yourself as a safe leader? Perhaps, more importantly, would your people describe your leadership as safe?
Is it important to be described as a safe leader?
I believe that it is critical! Why? Those that follow you need to feel they are in “safe” hands with you as a leader.
They need to feel secure that you are leading them in the right direction, and that you have their best interests at heart.
I am very conscious that the word “safe” has a connotation of conservative and lack of ambition, but it is most definitely what it means in this context.
Also, let me be very clear – a safe leader is not a soft leader!
You see, leadership is all about stretching yourself and your people to have a vision and to achieve what is beyond our comfort zone.
In a mountain climbing expedition, the leader drives his/her people forward, but they will only follow is they have trust in the leader. If they feel the expedition is for the leaders own glory, then they are unlikely to reach the summit.
So, how do you achieve that balance between being a leader who stretches people, and, at the same time, those that follow will feel safe and secure?
It’s all about getting the balance between PEOPLE and GOALS!
Short term results can be achieved by commitment to one or the other, but long terms results will only be achieved with full commitment to both.
Commitment to the goal is so important as it this drives the energy to push hard and achieve at a high level.
But that drive and energy will be undermined at some stage if there is lack of trust in you as the leader, as they will perceive that the achievement is being sought for your selfish reasons.
Your people must feel that you are fully committed to them – not just for the results that can be achieved – but you are committed to their development, their growth and their success.
This balance is tricky to get – but get it you must if you want to develop as a true leader of people. A leader who gets results over the long term.