Interesting or Interested! Which leader do you prefer?

My wife and I were recently having a discussion around dinner about a story she heard where there was change in leadership. The story she shared was about a lady that had met both the outgoing leader, as well as the new leader coming into the organization. When asked about the difference in the leaders, she responded by saying they were both wonderful people and that the outgoing leader was a very interesting person, but the incoming leader was very interested. You see, we all make impressions on people. The first leader had obviously made a positive impression on the lady for her to say he was interesting, but the new leader had made a bigger impression because he was more interested in what she had to say or do. This is a great illustration about the importance of servant leadership. When we serve, we are showing we care about others in our path. When we are interested, we have empathy, and can go on the journey with others to help them through a situation.

One of our company principles at Armstrong Relocation is to have a “WE CARE” approach when helping customers. It’s about having empathy and looking through the lens of the customer. When we do this, we become interested and can make a positive impact on our customers. Some of the best leaders I know have made great impact on my career because they were genuinely interested in me. Great leaders have common threads. They have empathy, and genuinely love and care for their team!

So, how can we make more impact by being interested in others as a leader?

  1. Listening: This is one of the most difficult skills to develop, but if you want to be more interested, it requires listening more. One of the strategies I learned is that when people come into my office to visit, I try to get up from the desk and sit down next to them in my office. When I do this, I am saying you have my full attention. When I don’t do this, it feels less connected, especially when my phone rings, even if I don’t answer…Also, make sure your cell phone if put away when speaking with someone one on one.
  2. Serving: One of the best ways to serve is to use the 100/0 rule. I once heard this on Darren Daily and it made great impact on me personally and professionally. This rule simply states that we should give 100% in everything you do for others, and expect 0% in return… Did you hear that? Expect 0% in return! Try to focus on the gratitude to be in position to help others on their journey. It’s the Zig Ziglar approach, “when you help enough people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want too”. This is especially true when you decide to network. Don’t worry about what you are going to get, just focus on serving and watch the magic happen! Be interested in serving others!
  3. Caring: When I first heard John Maxwell say, “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.” …it resonated so much with me. People want to talk about their issues, and their challenges. When you show that you care about their situation, people will then want to “lean in” to learn more about you. When I am talking with business partners and customers, I am not just talking about relocation, I am talking about what’s on their hearts. If its relocation, then I care about helping in that zone. If it’s finding talent, I care about connecting them with someone that can provide value. If it’s a personal issue, I listen to see how I can help. When we care, we are saying, I’m interested and care about you! 

Who are some of your favorite bosses, or leaders? Were they more interesting or interested? Share your perspective in comments below.

Quote of the week:The first step in leadership is not action, it’s understanding.” (John W Gardner)

Call to Action: Make a list of leaders that inspire you and determine if they are more interesting or interested. Then write down some traits that inspire you to start working on for your leadership. We should always be looking for ways to develop in our leadership, and being interested in others is a servant leadership approach will accelerate your growth!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Interested or Interesting Leaders” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” available on amazon.

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