3 things great leaders do that we never forget

According to Jill Geisler, head of the Leadership and Management Group at Poynter, workers trust, respect, and follow the best leaders and managers not just because they’re smart and have influence. She writes:
"There are no flawless bosses. Even the great ones have their quirks. But they possess something that overshadows their shortcomings: the trust of people who choose to follow them."
She goes on to illustrate three things that followers/workers truly value and remember about their leaders:
  • How a boss apologizes—Apologies should be sincere, specific, and public when needed. Leaders who admit and apologize for their errors are deemed as stronger.

    • My observation: Consider Psalm 51 - it is a public confession of King David's sin. Did you ever consider that he could have continued to sweep this under the carpet, but instead came out with it?


  • How a boss handles an employee’s error—Great leaders know a first-rate employee regrets an honest mistake. The leader listens to and speaks with the employee to learn what caused the error, how to avoid again it in the future, and how to best handle it now.

    • My observation: I have watched what happens when people come to me with behaviors or actions that they feel ashamed of and I try to take the approach Jesus took with the woman caught in adultery. He didn't slam her with a label, but began by calling her "woman." There is something that builds between two people when we respond with dignity in their embarrassment.


  • How a boss responds to an important personal life event—Workers never forget when their leader supports them in both joyful and tragic situations such as funerals, weddings, child’s illness, etc.

    • My observation: It drives me crazy when I can't be present for someone's tragedy... because when I have been there I see how significant it is to weep and laugh with someone else. Some of my best friendships - ironically - we deepened by a tragedy.
Great leaders work hard to earn the trust of others, but sometimes it's as simple as these three areas. When people see a clear, healthy correlation between a leader’s values and his/her actions, they will never forget.

Where have you seen this play out in your life?

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