In order for people to follow you, they need to trust you. They have to be able to see the passion that you have for your cause, and they have to be able to think you have compassion for your workers.
According to Michael Gould, chief executive of Bloomingdale’s, this trust is the fundamental basis of leadership.
“Honesty is day in, day out. People have to trust you and know you always have their back, in the good times and the tougher times,” Gould tells Adam Bryant in The New York Times. “I don’t think you can have too much warmth or too much empathy.”
Gould says that this feeling of trust means you have the ability to listen and empathise with what people are going through. As a leader, you need to care about your subordinates and make them feel like you support their professional careers. But this has to be a sincere effort, because people will know when you don’t truly care about them.
“At the end of the day, no one remembers anyone’s numbers, no matter how good they were at any moment in time,” says Gould. “All anyone’s going to remember is, did they give me an opportunity to be more than I thought I could be? What people want is a sense of recognition. They want a sense of belonging. People want to sense that what they’re doing makes a difference.”
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