What Makes a Leader Worthy of Admiration

Recently, I made a Facebook post that praised someone I think highly of, a journalist named John.

I said:

Something I appreciated watching you work today was the way you were relentless in the pursuit of great shots, but always aware and considerate of the audience and musicians.

His response was delightfully humble.

It read:

I nominate Alan Feirer as the head of the John Fan Club. He often is in places I am working, including my last two stories set in Winterset. He often flatters me, and lemme tell ya Alan, flattery will get you to the top position of the John Fan Club.

I felt like I owed the observers an explanation. Why was I a fan?

Thinking back to the trust-building combination of reliability and delight, this seems like a decent summary:

The combination that makes a person worthy of flattery or admiration is authenticity and candor mixed appropriately with service and consideration.

On top of that, it’s beautiful to see obvious passion from a person around their life, their work, and the culture they are a part of.

We need that mix of candor, consideration, and passion.

But keep it balanced.

Too much candor becomes arrogance and insensitivity.

Too much consideration masks the real person.

Not enough passion can become wishy-washiness.

Think about the leaders you admire – don’t they combine those traits?

DSC_0768_2Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

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