Yikes! I have the power to make someone cry.
That realization came to me on a long walk with a good friend and colleague of mine. We were discussing our business and he told me the story of how earlier in the week something he said to a team member made her cry. That made him realize the magnitude of his position as CEO. He was suddenly aware that he had great power and began to wield that power more carefully.
One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to be oblivious to how he/she makes a team member feel.
Let me restate that: One of the biggest mistakes I made as a leader was to be completely oblivious to how my team members felt.
Around that time I had just about perfected the art of making team members cry. The sad thing is that I was completely oblivious to it. Sure, I knew that I sucked as a leader, but I had no concept of the impact I was having on their lives and their emotions.