How to be a Great Leader

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

No, I’m not referring to the diner scene from “When Harry Met Sally.”

(This IS a business platform, after all…..).

I’m paraphrasing a client’s explanation for why he wanted to hire me.

Yes, he wanted to be a better leader. And yes, his organization was happy to invest in supporting his development. But there was something else behind his decision to choose me over the other coaches he had interviewed.

During our conversation he had asked me about my coaching approach, sure, but he had also asked me why and how I’d gotten into the profession as well as a few (polite, appropriate) questions about my family and interests outside of work.

When he told me he was hiring me, he said, “Because I want what you’ve got.”

My life is no means perfect – far from it, and never has been. Nor do I ever pretend it is anything other than a work in progress.

But what he saw through our conversation was a person who loves what they do, who is excited about every day, and who has been able to cultivate a values-based life with and around their work.

I often say I work at the intersection of success and happiness. I’m clear that few (but hopefully increasingly more) organizations want to hire me or my team to help their people be happy.

But I’m also clear that no one is a great leader UNLESS and UNTIL they are happy as a human. What it takes to be happy is a topic of much debate, but for me it is rooted in being kind, being curious and being conscious of our impact on and role in our larger communities.

What’s even MORE exciting is that at my company we now have a lovely big team of coaches who share this view. We aren’t just in the business of developing better leaders. We are relentlessly committed to working with people who understand that being a good human is a necessary ingredient to being a good leader.

No surprise we love what we do.

Do you?