Leadership entails getting results, and getting results entails human relationships.

One of the best leadership tools you can use is delighting in the people you lead. The more closely the leader and the individuals of the team bond, the more results will usually accrue.

However, sometimes leaders and the people they lead look at those relationships as somewhat one-sided. For example, charismatic leaders are commonly defined by sentiments bestowed on them from people. But great leadership is really a two-way street, also involving sentiments from the leader to the people.

We can never reach our full potential as leaders until we are delighting the people we lead and, through that delight, leading them to get continually better results while they become continually better as employees and as people.

To use this leadership tool properly, three things must be kept in mind.

1. Delight must keep high expectations. In your delight, don’t be afraid to challenge the people you lead to perform to their highest capability. After all, leadership is not about having people do just what they want to do. If they did want they wanted, you may not be needed as a leader. Leadership is about having people do what they may not want to do and be committed to doing it.

2. Delight must be truthful. Don’t try to manipulate people through your delight. Be honest with those you lead, even when it’s uncomfortable. Have your troops see themselves as they should be seen, not as they want to be seen. Remember to praise your team for their successes.

3. Delight must be practical. Link the delight you find in your team with lessons and best practices learned. Let your delight motivate people to take actions to be continually better. In that striving to be better and, getting better in the striving, you and your team will bond. And you’ll have a chance to celebrate innovative ways you’ve improved your tasks together.

You may not have thought about delight as a leadership tool, but it is one of the most effective because it goes right to the heart of getting results through the cementing of right relationships. Keep these three factors in mind when expressing your delight, and your leadership will be blessed daily with new opportunities.

Ingrid Kelada

Business Psychologist/Happiness Expert

KCC Inc.