I am in awe of people who have the capacity to influence others, not with bravado but with thoughtfulness and attention. I think that is born out of true generosity and compassion for others, and the understanding that one doesn’t always know the answer.
One of the things that always inspires me is leaders being cool and reasonable when in crisis. In construction, it inspires me when people can stay cool when things get a little out of control. Most inspiring are those leaders who have the intrinsic ability to motivate and inspire others. It is the one thing that I don’t naturally have that I admire most.
And having a good sense of humor and acknowledging the accomplishments of others are also valued by emerging sages:
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I most admire people who are irreverent, who don’t get too serious, people who can keep us all lighter. If people are happy and laughing, they are going to be more receptive. I remember something that Eve Ensler said: “When people are laughing, mouths are open, and you have a direct link to the brain.”
Being able to support people and letting them know they’re doing a good job are qualities I admire in a leader. And giving others confidence and making them feel good about themselves and their abilities. When I worked with kids, being with teenagers was always my favorite because I was so into building their self-esteem. I think I am good at that.