Author and speaker Simon Sinek is a gifted storyteller. In this talk, Simon zeroes in on an often overlooked aspect of leadership: safety.
Simon recounts the story of an ambush and its powerful lesson. When Army Captain William Swenson and his men were under heavy fire in Afghanistan, it was all caught on camera. As Swenson is seen helping an injured soldier onto a helicopter, you see Swenson lean over and kiss the injured soldier’s forehead before running back into a battle.
“Leadership is a choice. It is not a rank.” –Simon Sinek
Why did he do this? Sinek’s first hypothesis was that the military somehow attracted selfless people. After further investigation, Sinek concluded it was the environment that elevated behavior. The culture and values of the organization were strong enough to encourage selflessness.
We will put our lives at risk to save others because of trust. That means that trust increases safety. When we feel safe, we are empowered. When we are not acting under threat, we are able to give our best, to be more creative, to be more productive. More trust = more safety = more productivity and creativity. It’s a formula that all leaders should study.
Trust and safety may be difficult to measure, but they are essential for optimal performance.
Here’s an interesting guest post perspective on the strengths that introverts might not realize they have. And, yes, I’m sure some of the extroverts in our audience might have some counterarguments to share. This post is written by Jacob Shriar, Growth Manager at Officevibe.
Often, I avoided getting into a sales or manager role simply because I thought there was no way that I could handle it. I was convinced that you needed to have that “used car salesman” attitude to be good, and I definitely didn’t have that.
What I’ve learned recently is that you don’t need to be an extrovert to be good in a leadership role. In fact, there are a lot of qualities about introverts that make them great leaders.
1. Introverts Plan Properly
One of the CEO’s that I respect the most is a close family member. One of the things I’ve always admired about him is that every company-wide speech he gives is always made up on the spot. I never understood how he was able to do that. I require much more planning and preparation.
An introverted leader will be good at documenting and preparing employees for whatever they need help with.
2. Introverts Are Attentive
I’ve noticed this about introverts, and it’s something I really respect. When someone is talking to us introverts, they have our full attention.
That’s really just common courtesy, but I find introverts are much better at this. They also usually pick up on social cues and body language much better. Also, the fact that introverts are naturally quiet makes them great listeners.
3. Introverts Push Themselves Harder
Introverts would make great leaders for this reason. It might be because of our insecurity, but we’re very hard on ourselves, and we’re never satisfied, so we always push ourselves to be better and better.
This striving for excellence is a great quality for any leader to have.