As I finally start winding down my new book on Leadership (5 more interviews to go), one of the common themes that ran through the interviews done so far with some awesome people is that “GREAT LEADERS DO NOT JUDGE”.
As I thought this through and thought back on many anecdotes in my life, I realised how true it was.
Nothing illustrates this better than when a team member says something obviously wrong or seemingly foolish. Average Leaders react impulsively one way, Great Leaders react in entirely another way.
Let me illustrate with a hypothetical conversation.
SUBRAT “Aamir Khan is a better batsman than Sachin”.
AVERAGE OR MEDIOCRE LEADER “You are so stupid, Subrat. Do you think with your ass or your brains. How can you say something like that ?”
GREAT LEADERS “Subrat, I disagree. Aamir Khan works in films. He’s not in cricket. Unless you mean Aamer Sohail, with an E, the Pakistani opener. Yup, he did have a good track record but Sachin has had a longer stint across two decades and has done well in all countries and conditions. Aamer did well mostly in benign conditions at home and in Sharjah”.
See the difference ?
One conversation in itself is not enough. But Great Leaders display a pattern of respectful conversations and feedback. And Zero Judgement.
Think back on the Great Leaders you have worked with. Send them your Respect and Best Wishes.