When I'm asked to define leadership, I'm increasingly inclined to describe it as something that exists whenever one person positively influences another person's emotional state.
I use the word 'positively' because I have mind two things. First, that the influencer (i.e. the person demonstrating leader-like behaviour) has acted in a way that is welcomed by the receiver. Second, the outcome is positive in an ethical and moral sense.
In all the complexity of leadership and leading, one thing is clear; people very much want to be appreciated. They want to have their contribution to the team acknowledged and to know that it has added value in some way or form to the purpose of that team or organisation.
Yet, even though we all know this to be so obviously true, how is it that we often fail to thank others adequately for what they do for us, or our team?
I don't believe for one minute that we fail to thank because we believe we don't need to - as if paying people for their good work is enough. Instead, I think it's because we just forget what really matters, even though we ourselves get a deep feeling of contentment and a sense of belonging when we ourselves are thanked.
So, if you are a leader, or want to positively influence people's behaviour, take the time to slow down, and make sure that you thank the people who contribute to what you do. It matters.
Read this article to learn more.