by Art Petty
Intensity is a powerful leadership tool that when wielded with laser precision, can help focus, engage and inspire your team members.
The art of using intensity as a leadership tool is finding the right balance between personal humility and professional will to ensure that you are perceived as focused and committed, not angry or irrationally obsessed. There’s most definitely a fine line between the two. Cross this line in the wrong direction and instead of promoting a high performance team, you’re likely to be in the running for a@@hole of the year in the boss category.
4 Key Rules for Getting Intensity Right:
1. Be Authentic. Your team members can sense a lack of authenticity a mile away. Your commitment to the mission at hand must come through in your every word, action and during every encounter. Your agenda must be perceived as genuine and clear, free of politics and any hint of self-promotion. You must be perceived as someone who can admit mistakes and who doesn’t have to know all of the answers. Of course, your words, demeanor and intensity at all times must show confidence in the ability of your team members to find the answers and recover from mistakes.
2. Be Empathetic. The most effective high intensity leaders I’ve observed are incredibly well-attuned to their team members as individuals. They make authentic connections, they understand the battles and challenges inside of their team members and they respectfully tailor their approach to guiding and coaching the individual based on these insights. They also understand that when failure occasionally rears its’ ugly head, good teams don’t need yelling or false cheerleading, they need to grieve a bit and then turn that grief into productive frustration and then renewed commitment.