Everyone has a concept of what they feel makes a good leader. There are books, guides, blogs, and seminars, but to be a good leader,one must have many qualities. In fact, good leaders often have natural skills mixed with learned ones. I have found the most effective leaders are those who are relatable. People need to feel like they can connect to a leader on some level because if they cannot, how can this person understand them.
There are many ways to come across as relatable, but it boils down to a natural ability to connect to many different types of people through discussion and storytelling. It is the way in which a leader expresses their innate humanity. With so many people feeling disconnected from management and other leaders, they need more who can look them in the eye, smile, and make them realize they are heard. Leaders need followers just as much, if not more, than followers need leaders. A leader needs to be open, and willing to show who they are as a person. They need to let others into their lives because it is often the challenges of a personal nature that have influenced them to grow and find success on a personal and professional level.
Storytelling is one of the most effective ways for a leader to reach others. It is the act of speaking their truth, even the ones that are the most difficult to talk about. It can be a realization of failures or the loss of someone close that inspired them to take the steps to become who they are today. It could be where and how they grew up that made them realize they needed to push themselves to make a better life. Every leader has a story, and their stories are the tool to reach others on a more personal level, by showing their humanity. If you are working to hard to lead others, do not be afraid to relax a little and show the personable side of yourself. Let people see who you are and where you came from because the odds are that there are others who need to hear it to be inspired. Be relatable, and you will be rewarded.