Make a CASE for Engagement

According to Harvard Business Review authors, Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, we build a CASE for leadership by providing followers with these four things.


Humans are hardwired for sociability and we also desire solidarity. As a result, employees want to feel a sense of belonging and want to feel part of something bigger. Build up your CASE for leadership by helping your employees answer the questions “Why are we here?” and “What are we a part of?”


Employees don’t usually follow credentials, titles or management robots. They follow people who contribute personal differences, strengths, and successes and who don’t shy away from mistakes. Do your employees know who you are and where you come from? What is different or unique about you that will draw others to you?


Followers want to believe their efforts matter. Meaningful and specific recognition and personalized feedback are important.


Followers need to be inspired to higher levels of effort and achievement. Check in with yourself. Are you actually in touch with your own values and motivators? Make sure you communicate your passion and vision and values to your employees. Your energy and enthusiasm will be contagious

Think about your team.

How well are you building a CASE for your leadership? If you’d like to check in with yourself on how you’re doing, the Self-Assessment is provided below.  What may seem unfair, is that you may be consciously trying to exhibit the things mentioned above but your followers/employees will ultimately decide whether your good intentions actually succeed.

CASE Self-Assessment

Think about your behavior and consider the extent to which you agree with each statement below . . .  

Strongly              Strongly

Disagree            Agree



1. I make sure employees know they are valued members of the team. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
2. I establish traditions that bring team members together. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
3. I build a strong team identity without creating silos. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
4. I build our team’s strength by leveraging each person’s unique talents. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄


5. My actions align with my stated values. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
6. I share personal shortcomings. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
7. I “show up” consistently and appropriately in different situations ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
8. I let myself be known on a personal level beyond title or role. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄


9. I help individuals see how their work connects to larger goals. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
10. I often ask for—and act on—input from team members. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
11. I recognize individuals’ contributions to our team’s success. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
12. I provide specific, personalized feedback to team members on how to maximize their talents. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄


13. I convey my personal passion about team projects and the work we do. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
14. I display an intensity that spurs team members to higher levels of achievement. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
15. I celebrate significant individual and team accomplishments. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄
16. I demonstrate expert knowledge of our business/industry. ➀ ➁ ➂ ➃ ➄

SCORING: Count your 4s and 5s above.

Don’t add them up; just count how many you have.

Grade # Of 4s and 5s
Congratulations! You don’t sit on your laurels. Leadership is a relationship that needs constant attention. Continue to build your CASE every day.  

12 or more

Take a look at trends. Are you better at satisfying some needs more than others? How can you address your team’s needs while driving the organization’s priorities?  

7 to 11


Take stock. Are you a leader known for results and also the wreckage of burnt out employees? Are you struggling to deliver the results expected of you? Do you really want to be a leader? What’s getting in the way of the leadership behaviors above? If you fail to nurture your relationship with your followers, you are more likely to fail yourself.  


6 or fewer

If your score isn’t what you’d like it to be, here are a few suggestions.

  • Ask a trusted colleague for help in the area you are weakest or struggle with the most.
  • Work with a Mentor – if you’re like me, there is someone you admire who handles with grace and ease the one thing that trips you up the most. Or there is someone you admire who’s really good in one specific area. Take them to coffee or go on a walking meeting and find out how they do what they do.

It’s not easy to ask for help. Take a moment and look around you. We have a wide range of skills and expertise at our fingertips and together we can help each other. It takes courage to ask for help. Let’s be courageous together!

Enjoy the weekend and for those of you celebrating spring break next week, enjoy spring!


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