The most successful leaders don’t position themselves above other people or revel in power and status. Dan Pontefract says they make themselves relatable, practice humility, and show care and respect. Pontefract believes strong leaders lift people up, share knowledge – as opposed to hoarding it – and create diverse, egalitarian teams. He teaches leaders to act with clarity and decisiveness, and to thrive in the face of change and obstacles. Writing in an accessible, relatable style, Pontefract offers applicable advice on how to lead so people will want to follow.
Strong leaders are relatable, caring and humble.
Leaders should prioritize creating meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. People find transparent, honest and caring leaders relatable, and that inspires them to collaborate. Leaders often fail to be relatable because they won’t admit mistakes or ask for help when they need it. They foolishly pretend to be infallible. People who see themselves as virtuous, fair and relatable – but still can’t admit when they make a mistake – are being dishonest with themselves.
To boost your “relatability quotient,” accept that you’re human and will make mistakes. When you’re wrong, apologize and take appropriate steps to correct your error. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or feedback. Ask for assistance in completing project-based tasks, such as data entry, or for help with larger questions, like considering career development options. Embrace transparency and honesty in your relationships and extend empathy to your colleagues.
Being a leader should provide a sense of meaning, not a hunger for power.
Best-selling author of Open to Think, The Purpose Effect and Flat Army, Dan Pontefract is founder and CEO of the Pontefract Group, a leadership and organizational culture consultancy.