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So recently, I was reading some history, and I came across a story of the Israelites and the Egyptians. If you are interested in reading the story, it is found in the biblical book of Exodus.

I will get right to the point. You see, the Egyptian leadership had no connection with the current group of Israelites and saw the group as just a nuisance instead of people that he led. Once he saw these people as just another object; he created a plan to oppress them.

The new leadership created a model where there were slave masters over the people and then forced them into harsh labor, and I read that the leadership made their lives bitter.

During this time, the Egyptian leadership built cities and accomplished major goals. The problem is that this type of leadership eventually cost him more than all of the accomplishments.

Great leaders understand the teams that they lead. They realize that accomplishing goals at the cost of team members does not equal success. Team members grow tired of working for a leader that does not care about the individual team member.

Not every team member can carry the same amount of the load. Great leaders understand the gifts of each team member and then place them in the right position for that team member to be successful. To expect every team member to possess the same gifts and talents is an unrealistic expectation.

This type of thinking will only cause the leader to lose the team. Each team member needs to be rewarded and appreciated in their appreciation language. I am not a hugging type of person, so if you were my leader and you thought that the best reward for me was a hug, well let’s just say you would be wrong.

Let me try to wrap all of this up and make my point. Leaders must know how to read and understand their team. We as leaders must be able to recognize when the team feels like they are just objects that the leader is using to accomplish the goal. We as leaders also need to understand the best way to appreciate each of the team members.

When we just end up using the team to accomplish the goal, the team begins to see themselves as just working for the man! When this happens you are no longer the leader, you are a task master and the team has become just tools you are using to accomplish the task.

This week’s experiment; Try reading your team. Do they feel appreciated? Are you their leader, or are they just working for the “man”.