by Michael Holland     

A toddler is amazed by the sound of their voice echoing off the walls of a large, empty room.  I’m amazed by the echo heard down a valley from a high cliff. The sound reverberates, seeming to go on forever.

The leadership voice of a good leader is heard in the hearts and heads of those they’ve had the privilege to lead, much like these echoes.  The simple phrases, meaningful stories, and short video clips of behaviors and interactions reverberate to guide us.  These echoes help us to balance the endless, daily workload with the broader purpose of why we are here. They direct us to make difficult decisions, to engage more deeply, and to be patient yet again with that communication-challenged coworker.

These echoes are motivating, demanding, inspirational, consoling, critical, and comforting.  They act as sign posts for us as we walk each day through our work life. And while these echoes can be singular in the phrases said or the behaviors exhibited, their tremendous power comes when the echoes align – words plus behaviors – into a reverberating combination that is extremely impactful.

The echoes of great leaders are heard not only today but again and again in the hearts and heads of employees for decades.  As a leader, you have the opportunity every day to create these reverberations.

What echoes are you producing for your employees, and are they echoes you would like to last a lifetime?

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

  • What echoes from others have been particularly impactful to you?
  • What echoes are you producing for your employees, and are they echoes you would like to last a lifetime?
  • Is there a gap between the echoes you think you are creating and what your employees hear/see?  Grab a peer leader and discuss their perception.