Recently, I reached out to a colleague who had accepted an incredible new opportunity after many fruitful years with our company. We had never worked closely together but every brief interaction I had with her was positive and professional. And I watched from afar as she led her teams and regions to success.
Her response to my outreach was of course immediate. Great leaders have a way of doing this—even when they don't respond to every inquiry, they have a good sense of where their time and attention should and can go. So we chatted for a bit, and afterward, she shared with me one of her greatest moments of stepping up as a leader—a communication she had sent to her team, which really if you boiled it all down, championed what's known as "the golden rule" (do unto others).
Great leaders get that at the end of the day if we're all just a little more empathetic—if we all just appreciate where others are coming from a bit more, then the stage is set for better collaboration, behaviors and ultimately shared success. We follow leaders for these moments of simple clarity. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what we know is true. Great leaders are great at reminding us of these things when we need them the most.