Leadership Model for Chaotic Times: K.I.N.D.


We all know of leaders and co-workers who behave like jerks and are not held accountable for their unprofessionalism because they get things done, or because they are subject matter experts who get results. I hear it all the time in colorful language, “Everybody knows he’s a dick, but he gets away with it because he gets shit done!”

This nastiness is a weakness.  Organizations need to root out weakness to win.

The strong, effective leaders who consistently get results are K.I.N.D.

K = Kindness

I = Integrity

N= Neutral listening

D = Decisiveness

Kindness matters. You can lead with strength and power, making a difference in service of your people and your results. It is possible to be both kind and ruthless, rigorously pursuing the win or the mission without compromising how you treat the humans in your employ.

Integrity is how you operate that incorporates trust, honesty, character, and dependability. You are responsible and known as someone who will do what you say you will do. You get things done, or you create the space for others to get things done without having to cheat, lie, cut corners, steal, or otherwise dishonestly pursue your goal.

Neutral listening is how you learn from your people, stay abreast of what is being said and what is not being said in your organization, and understand the culture so you can lead from choice. Neutrality means you are open to hearing all sides of a situation, you seek to understand what is being said, you formulate a leadership point of view that matters to the people and the mission of your organization, and you can be counted on to be a trusted advisor.  Listening is generative; allowing neutral listening demonstrates to your people that they can talk to you and tell you what is really going on, what really matters to them, and what they need to succeed.

Decisiveness is an important function of effective leadership.  This includes your ability to delegate effectively and make the best, most robust decisions for your organization and the individuals who work there. Being able to quickly assess the relevant and available information and make choices even when you don’t have enough information to do so is the hallmark of a good leader.

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