The leader must understand her or his own world and how it relates to the world of others.
One cannot solve the equation of others when preoccupied with the equation of self. Empathy for employees cannot be developed if the leader is emotionally involved with personal problems. Problems with alcohol, problems with money, and problems with relationshiops are fertile fields for emotional instability. A display of emotional instability places the leader in a precarious position with regard to employees, because they will question the leader’s objectivity and judgement. Leadving personal problems at home allows the leader to think more clearly and to perform more effectively on the job. One can see the consequences of loss of stability with examples raning from the fall of Alexander the Great to the fall of Captain Queeg in The Cain Mutiny.
The leader must ask, Do I possess objectivity? Do I convey stability to my employees? Do they trust that personal problems will not interfere with my judgment?
Tomorrow’s entry will be on ‘Concern for others‘.