Did you ever meet a very senior officer who seemed both approachable and genuinely interested in you? How did it make you feel? If you are like me, probably great. In that simple moment of truth, that person gained your respect and admiration. Consider the more common case, where someone's ego got in the way and left those around him feeling diminished. In our goal to be more effective leaders, many of us take a pragmatic approach to outcomes-driven management and focus on the tried and true principles of accountability, metrics, continuous improvement, and the like—all admirable, and necessary, goals.
However, if you consider the great leaders of our time, you'll likely note that they brought much more to the leadership table than operational acumen. They made a steadfast commitment to effective and enlightened leadership. They brought that extra degree of fidelity to leading that yielded extraordinary outcomes. Many of their key behaviors are straightforward, yet, astonishingly, are practiced by only a few.