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Saying it does not make it so.

As a leader you need to make your people your #1 priority and it needs to be a lived reality, not just some fancy catch phrase or words plastered on a wall, or some feel good statement in the strategic plan.

You can say your people are your #1 priority but is that how your people feel? If you don’t know, find out by asking people who will tell you the truth, not just tell you what you want to hear.

You can say your people are your greatest asset but saying it does not make it so. How do you live it and demonstrate it every day?

You can rewrite your strategic plan to move your people from #5 on the list to #1 but if that is not the reality then you should just be honest and leave them at the bottom of the list where you put them the first time.

People want to be seen and heard. They want to be valued and appreciated. Insincere words and platitudes however are a slap in the face. One of the reasons burnout is so prevalent in workplaces today is that employees feel betrayed by people in formal leadership positions. They expect people in those positions to lead, to invest in them and to live the core values of the organization. They expect specific ongoing feedback on their performance. They expect people in leadership positions to demonstrate the courage to do what is right. They want leaders they can trust, not bosses and bullies in leadership positions.

They want a leader who is human, not a robot towing and spouting the party line.

Are you being the leader your people need and deserve?

Remember that leadership is a choice and a journey, and it starts with you. Choose well, keep learning, and enjoy the journey.

Brian Willis

Register yourself, and your team for the Dare to Be Great: Strategies for Creating a Culture of Leading online workshop to get everyone on the same page regarding leadership and culture. If you are interested in hosting a live Dare to Be Great workshop reach out to me at