This is Not a Typo. I meant to add the extra E.
Most everyone is familiar with the CEO acronym right? The Chief Executive Officer is the Leader of a company typically. Or at the very least they are in the top leadership position, so we certainly hope, for the sake of the organization in their charge, that they are, in fact, a leader.
The truth is that someone can be in a leadership position and NOT be a leader. This happens all too often in a world where people are promoted based on their technical and performance proficiency, and ability to get things done. Unfortunately this doesn’t readily translate into leadership ability. Leaders have to accomplish through serving and developing others.
This requires an entirely different heart approach, and a substantially different set of skills. For the purpose of this article I am only focusing on two attributes that are necessary to be an awesome leader.
CEEO stands for Chief Encouragement and Empathy Officer
A mark of true leadership is the desire of the followers to follow. If people don’t want to follow the leader but are merely doing so because they have no choice, then this is not leadership. This is authority. People will not follow you unless they believe you care about them. Otherwise they will view everything as being about you and not for the benefit of them.
Encouragement is an incredibly powerful mechanism. John Maxwell calls it “The Oxygen of the Soul.” If you think about it, you know this is true. How does it feel when someone you believe in, and know understands you, encourages you? It feels like a strong wind just filled your sails. This is the power of encouragement. When you encourage another person you are likely the only person who has done this in a while. People will run through walls for the person who genuinely encourages them. But this is where the second E comes in.
They Have to Feel Understood for Your Encouragement to Matter
Think about this in a very basic form. If someone who doesn’t know you, but can benefit from your actions, says to you “you can do it” does that inspire you? No. How could they know that you can do it? It’s hollow because it’s not based in knowing you.
Empathy is a deeper understanding of what a person is experiencing. Not just the facts of the matter, but also the feelings. When you take the time to invest in understanding someone, your encouragement becomes real. And therefor becomes very powerful. In my book Leading with Heart, I go much deeper into the CEEO concept and also into empathy, which is a must have leadership skill. If you are a reader (which all leaders are) I suggest getting a copy of the book.
In the video, I share a lot more, particularly about the empathy piece. I know you will get a lot out of it.
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