George Steinbrenner, often referred to as the boss, was a leader who cared. He cared about his people and they cared about him.
To many of us we saw him as a rough and tough character who treated his people like crap. Think back to the Billy Martin days – “you’re hired – you’re fired – you’re hired.”
But what I’m reading and hearing from those who really knew him – I hear that he genuinely cared about those on his team. It’s actually quite heart warming to learn what a great man he was.
My perception is he was tough alright. He held people accountable for results – and he expected results. If you didn’t deliver what you said you would, or deliver the result he expected from you, he would not be happy and you would hear about it.
Too many leaders today do not hold their people accountable for their results. They tolerate mediocrity and shy away from addressing the tough issues with their people. Tolerating mediocrity is a leadership weakness and George Steinbrenner was not weak.
Caring about your people is different from tolerating mediocrity – Caring is all about ensuring you look out for those on your team. Tolerating mediocrity is letting them and the rest of your team down.
As a leader, I highly recommend you do what you can to demonstrate you genuinely care about those on your team. Additionally, be respectful of their families because that’s why they work – to provide for their families.
Great leaders do what they can to help their people be successful at work and in life.
George Steinbrenner seemed to me to be a great businessman … but more importantly to me, he seemed to be a generous and thoughtful leader who wanted to see those on his team be successful – because he cared.
Thank you Mr. Steinbrenner for creating what you have in this world – it is a part of our life.
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