What Do I Mean by Demanding?
When I speak with great leaders, they:
- Have high standards for the quality of thinking, work product, and engagement on their teams.
- Hold people accountable for meeting standards, deliverables, and outcomes (including the quality of relationships).
In my past organizational life and with my clients now, the most demanding leaders have helped me grow my capability and build my portfolio of performance outcomes. Who has been most demanding of you and your performance?
What Do I Mean By Caring?
When I think of caring leaders, they:
- Consider and inquire about the well-being of team members.
- Actively provide feedback and ideas for development, professional and career.
I find it rare that a leader does not care about the people on his or her team. Instead, there is more likely a wide range of behaviors that may or may not communicate that caring to the team member. However, when a leader finds an authentic way to demonstrate his or her caring, he or she opens up an even greater ability to be demanding about results.
Why Demanding, Yet Caring?
Without demonstrable caring, a demanding leader can miss a deteriorating team or set of outcomes. Without demanding, a caring leader can allow the team to slip into marginal performance. I say “yet” rather than “and” because I see more risk in not being demanding enough than there is in a lack of obvious caring. Demanding, yet caring leaders expect the best possible results, help team members grow in their capability, and provide the glue that drives remarkable results.
What is your demanding/caring leadership quotient? Where is your opportunity to be more demanding or be more caring? Now image if your leadership team were all demanding, yet caring leaders. How might your shared results improve?