Great entrepreneurs and well-known leaders tend to possess some “rather unusual behaviors not commonly seen in the corporate world,” according to Marcel Schwantes, a speaker, leadership coach, and the principal and founder of Leadership From the Core. In a recent article for Inc., Schwantes said brilliant leaders do the following four things:
Tap front-line employees for new ideas. Success happens when leaders go down to the production floor to “engage with workers, ask questions and actively listen to truly understand current issues.”
Stay curious. Saying great leaders are naturally curious may sounds cliché, but the notion is backed by research. For instance, a Harvard Business Review report found people with a higher “curiosity quotient” are more inquisitive and generate more original ideas, which leads to higher levels of knowledge acquisition over time.
Display vulnerability. “There’s immense power in being openly vulnerable,” says Schwantes. Vulnerability allows leaders to connect with and engage his or her employees. Being relatable helps build relationships, which is what many businesses are built on.
Have empathy. “The practice of empathy works in a business sense only if the end result is removing barriers and helping your employees succeed,” says Schwantes. “It’s the feeling of safety and freedom employees get that releases them to do great work.”
Schwantes believes these four uncommon behaviors command great respect and unprecedented employee loyalty, and lead to clear, competitive advantage.
—Adapted from “4 Rare (and Brilliant) Things Smart Leaders Do to Get Respect,” by Marcel Schwantes, Inc., July 30, 2017.