Leaders, 10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars #leadership

Many leaders assert that passion is essential to leadership success. If they aren’t passionate, how will employees be inspired to the vision?

As I work with leaders, I pose a key question about that passion.

As you inspire teams with the fire of your passion, do you scar them or ignite their greatness?

Let Your Passion Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars. Image by: fsamuels via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Passion that burns others undermines the goal.

Passion that ignites others fuels success.


Leadership: 10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars

  1. Keep your mind open. Leaders, when your mind is open to different ways of reaching the end goal, your passion ignites team ideas and greatness. If you close your mind, you scar team spirit and douse passion.

  2. Establish the limits of freedom. That might seem like an oxymoron yet it is true. If there are boundaries, state them and then let innovation, creativity, and great talent surface and develop. If you pretend there are no boundaries and inflict them later, you scar team rhythm and trust. When boundaries legitimately change, communicate them clearly.

  3. Become a geyser of goodwill. The more times you genuinely communicate the positives, the more trust and goodwill you build with the team. This goodwill builds team strength to hear the negatives with objectivity. The sum ignites greatness.

  4. Be honest not blunt. Honesty that doesn’t insult catapults all to greatness. Bluntness leaves emotional scars that toughen future interactions. Classic wisdom says: Attack the idea not the I. I add, “Disagree without being disagreeable.”

  5. Question before feedback. Your passion for the vision or goal, will scar others if you give negative feedback before understanding their actions. You also scar your credibility and their trust in you.

  6. Refine your message to critical points. Passion has the power to confuse. It causes you to leave out critical information that can ignite the team’s greatness. Exercise: Write your message as a headline and then the bullet points to support it. Ask yourself, is it clear? Clear communication focuses the fire and ignites the team’s greatness.

  7. Show you are listening. Ever work for leaders who are so passionate that they keep blazing new trails without showing you they heard your ideas and concerns? Don’t be a leader who appears deaf. Listen. Dialogue ignites greatness.

  8. See talent in mistakes. Team greatness is harnessed through individual contributions to the same goal. Differences in talent and perspective often produce unexpected outcomes that you might see as mistakes. Can you also see the talent in unexpected outcomes?

  9. Recognize initiative and celebrate learning. One uncomfortable truth about igniting greatness is that not all team members want to be great. Some leaders and managers address this discrepancy by sacrificing greatness in the quest for team harmony. There’s a better way. If you recognize those who are showing initiative and greatness AND celebrate all who are learning, you preserve team harmony without sacrificing greatness.

  10. What is your #10?

Leaders, what else are you doing to ignite greatness without leaving scars?

From my experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2011-2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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6 Responses to “Leaders, 10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars #leadership”

  1. Kate – Great post!

    My number 10 is “Live Your Message”

    Your words, integrity, and your visible actions must align to ignite greatness.
    People will not follow empty words!


  2. Joshua Symonette says:


    This is a great post because passion can really scar people. As far as my #10, I loved what Dan said about living your passion. That is a great one. So, I’ll adopt that one and add “Tell a story”. Great stories have a way of fueling the fire and giving people a visual picture to refer to as they push through to reach the end goal. A great story gets me every time.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks Joshua. I do agree that stories are powerful. I use them when I deliver training and have had people actually tell me which ones made a difference. One participant actually said “make sure you tell that one every time you teach.”

      So pleased to have your insights here.

      Grateful thanks,

  3. Susan Mazza says:

    Important message Kate and an excellent list. I’ll add be responsible for your power. When your boss or someone “higher” up gives feedback it carries more weight emotionally for better or for worse. For example, have an outburst of anger with a peer and your peer with take it in stride or push back/set you straight. Have an outburst of anger “subordinates” will run for cover in fear. Give praise and the higher your level the more weight it seems to carry (at least when it seems authentic). We are wired to pick up on negatives and tend to more easily shrug off the positive messages. That doesn’t mean be positive all the time or don’t give tough feedback or never get angry. It just means you need to be awake to the amplified impact of your actions and words.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Susan,
      Your #10 “Be responsible for your power” is a must! I am so grateful for your addition. The examples you give illustrate why it’s necessary and how it can impact others. I think we’ve all seen it and lived it.

      Many thanks!

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