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7 Ways a Great Leader Is Like a Good Lover

Leadership is a complex, human relationship

I have often argued that leadership is THE most complex human relationship – more complicated than a love relationship, a deep friendship, or a marriage. Yet, there are many commonalities between a good love relationship and a relationship with a great leader. Here are a few:

1. You feel good about yourself. A good leader should praise and reward you and recognize your strengths. Followers of great leaders enjoy the time spent with them – seeking them out for inspiration, motivation, or an emotional uplift.

2. There is open and honest communication. Great leaders are authentic. They are open, honest, and straightforward, and don’t play games or have hidden agendas.

3. You are a better person. Rather than harping on your shortcomings or focusing on your failings, a great leader uses errors or failures as a way to help you improve.

4. You have common goals. The very best leaders are able to align their goals, the goals of the organization or community, and their followers’ goals, in order to get everyone on the same page and working together.

5. You want to spend time together. Great leaders are positive role models. Followers want to spend time with their leaders to learn from them and to be inspired.

6. You grow from the experience. A great leader helps followers to grow and develop their own leadership capacities. Great leaders leave followers better off than when they found them.

7. Your needs are important. Great leaders are responsive to their followers’ personal needs and helps them to grow in their jobs and careers.

The very best leaders transform their organizations, but also transform their followers – making everyone better.

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