Being a “People Champion” is key to great leadership. If you saw the Women's World Cup Final, you may have seen what a “People Champion” can accomplish!
First, nothing happens without a goal (double entendre intended)! You have to know where you’re going and then everyone needed to get there must know too.
You have to know your stuff. Knowing the ins and outs of baseball isn’t enough to be a great soccer coach. Leading a sales force isn’t the same as leading a technical team.
And here’s the “People Champion” part.
Know your team as individuals and as a team. Would your team say:
"She knows the personnel so well," (1)
“(She) listened, which is apparently something she has a lot of practice doing,” (2)
“ … there is a level of two-way communication … never before experienced …” (3)
"She is very nice and she is very selfless and she is very passionate about people, but she's not a pushover by any stretch of the imagination," (4)
"She just is one of these leaders that you know she's in charge, but it's not arrogant. I can't explain it. … You know she's in charge, and you know you respect her.” (5)
"She takes what she does seriously, but she's not taking herself so seriously." (6)
“(She) believed in every single one of us … “ (7)
By now you have probably figured out who this leader is; Jill Ellis, coach of the USA Women’s World Cup Soccer Champions. From Jill:
"I've never been a CEO, but I don't care if you're an English professor teaching a class or you're a coach, you've got to connect with people," (8)
"Even in this [national team] environment, whether it's having individual meetings, whether it's asking about a player, whether it's trying to have a consciousness and understanding of what they're dealing with, I think that's important because, sure, they're phenomenal athletes, but they're people.” (1)
Do your best to deserve this:
“(She) is a players' manager. She has good instincts. She knows how to have the hard conversations, yet motivate and manage.” (9)
Be a “People Champion.”
Photo courtesy of Ambro