In regards to maximizing the leadership menu that is us, I offer that the most important element of that menu is humility. While personality is the key ingredient of your leadership appetizer, entrée, and dessert, it is your character that allows you to be able to function, or not function, through a lens of humility.
Is your leadership menu flexible? One of the things that I love most about my new favorite restaurant is the fact that they listen. They educate me on what the standard preparation is and then they listen to what I want. They make me the star of my dining experience even though they are clearly the preparation and serving experts.
To every supervisor, manager, coach, director, teacher, and leader of wherever you serve, flexibility (humility in action!) is a required character trait!
It’s more than subject matter expertise. It’s more than the inherent or referent power of your title. The conscious, consistent effort to understand the people you serve is part of the cost of successful leadership. Even dictators understood the power of populist values. History has been careful to note the populist charms of Hitler, Castro, and Idi Amin had in spite of their wildly extreme political perspectives. We have to be able to feel the pulse of the people we serve.