It's not always the big things that count the most

While leadership and leaders come in many different forms, nearly all strong and effective leaders have at least one thing in common: they pay attention to the little things that matter to their followers. Of the many leadership traits that are frequently mentioned as most admired, communication and engagement are nearly always present. In order to know what matters to people, you have to communicate with them. And you can’t communicate with people if you are not actively engaged with them on a regular basis.

Paying attention to the little things is important, and it can go a long way towards building trust and commitment among members of an organization. In the context of dealing with organizational issues, it is sometimes easy for leaders to lose perspective on the relative value of certain issues and problems, or to misinterpret their impact on others within the organization. We all have a tendency to focus on larger concerns because that’s where we feel our leadership skills should be applied. But it is important to remember that leadership is about influence, and without building that trust and commitment through communication and engagement, the degree of influence will always be diminished.

If you want to be a more effective leader, if you want people to follow you with passion and dedication; find out what is important to them. Find out what problems they deal with and what is preventing them from doing their jobs. And then do your best to fix it.