I shifted gears on my LinkedIn Live this week from goal achievement to leadership:

In my humble opinion, too many people have a skewed view of what it means to be a “leader.” It has nothing to do with a job title, the biggest office or the highest salary.

You can have those things and be a leader, but they don’t make you a leader.

Real, true, authentic, Outperforming leadership is the sum total of the interactions we have with people every single day. The things we do, the things we say, the way we treat people. It all adds up.

I bet you have a story of a leader in your life that profoundly affected you by something they said. And when they said it, it was exactly what you needed to hear (I shared a similar story in the video).

Now, it’s easy to do what mainstream personal development tells you to do – “just go out and make meaningful interactions.”

But how do you do it?

There are two absolute musts:

1 – Presence

Interactions cannot be meaningful if you’re thinking about what happened yesterday, planning for the weekend or checking the notifications on your phone. Presence is the ability to get where you are at any given moment and people can feel it. It’s the greatest “present” you can give someone.

2 – Empathy

Leaders carry food and water. Not literally, but they carry the individual “nourishment” that people need. And you can only determine what this nourishment is by seeking to understand what someone is thinking and feeling. What do they need? What do they really need?

I truly believe the world will be a better place if we all practice more presence and demonstrate more empathy.

These two things make interactions more meaningful, and THAT makes you an Outperforming leader.