I took one look at him and I knew something was wrong. We were at a social event where there was supposed to be lots of fun and celebrating. This senior executive's face told me that something had happened. I asked what was going on and he told me that he had just gotten some really bad news from one of his team members. This had nothing to do with work but was a personal family health matter. This executive immediately gathered several of us together and prayed for his team member's family.
You can talk all you want about effective leadership. You can talk about the most effective tools, the most powerful principles, and the most efficient methods. But talk does not equal leadership. Show me a leader who is authentically concerned about his or her team members and I will show you what true leadership looks like when it counts. We live in a culture that propagates the importance of keeping personal and professional issues separate. But my experience shows that a leader who is only concerned with getting tasks accomplished is not effective.
Leadership is a personal decision to speak in to the lives of others. This includes both personal and professional arenas. People will not follow a leader who is not authentic and transparent in his or her care and concern for them. People do not follow tasks. They follow those who genuinely care and exemplify that concern on a daily basis.
Choose to show those within your circle of influence that you care about each of them and you will make a difference!