Saturday, November 20, 2004


OK….so I created a new word. For those who know me, it’s not an unusual occurrence. One of my clients will be happy as she has a Donna Karlin dictionary : ) 'Humanness'…. defNo matter how powerful a person you are, you still maintain your sense of humanity and compassion. Or, in other words, “getting over yourself.”

My brother is a world renowned surgeon. Am I proud of him and the work he does? Better believe it! What I’m most proud of is not his work, though it’s extraordinary. It’s who he is not what he does that continually blows me away. I watch how people relate to him….colleagues, staff, peers….to the janitorial staff in the hospital. They all love him. It’s his ‘humanness’.

And (here’s the Shadow Coach™ coming out in me) as I observe others, famous and not so famous alike, and how people interact and relate with those I’m observing, I see the connections. When one gets rid of the inflated ego and realises he can change for the better in some way, it makes him more ‘human’ and approachable. So many people and organizations are talking about ‘Leadership’. Talking, not attaining. It’s so much easier to talk about being a leader than actually being one. In my opinion, the first step to being a good leader is to demonstrate ‘humanness’….to get over yourself and realise there are other people in the world who might have ideas better than your own. Collaborate with them…help them grow in their roles and you will lead. Nothing is more seductive than showing someone else they count, they have talent and you recognize it. If you truly believe in them, they will follow you anywhere and work with you as often as they can. Because you know they count. Many leaders take for granted you share their ideals and visions for the organization. Not always so.

"Certainly a leader needs a clear vision of the organization and where it is going, but a vision is of little value unless it is shared in a way so as to generate enthusiasm and commitment. Leadership and communication are inseparable." - Claude Taylor

A leader who demonstrates ‘humanness’ is even more powerful in creating a collaborative environment in which everyone has a chance to work in an area that they’re passionate about, helping them grow as individuals in the process. If you really look at who you are and how you lead others, can you honestly say they evolve because of 'humanness'....your leadership, helping you evolve as well along the way?

Donna Karlin

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