So You Say You Care

You can say you care. You can believe this is what you are doing. But there are ways of “caring” that actually make victims of those you purport to be “caring” about.

The pop psychology concept of “caring” is roughly that “caring” means giving people what they want, right now.

Some guru may have suggested to you that if you give people what they want, they’ll work harder for you. Other than the fact that there is no evidence for this belief, you would be hard put to find any growth in competence on the job from what you give people.

Leadership virtuosos take this very different perspective.

They know it is ultimately demoralizing to give people what they say they want in the short-term. They know that their moral obligation is to give people not what they want, but what they need in the long-term.

They know that you can like people and still refuse to let those people default themselves. They know that most people will default themselves unless they have some inescapable necessity not to. They know that it is the leader’s job to make it possible for people to grow up through their own competencies and consciences. And then to make that growth and self-responsibility necessary.

Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader