The Most Important Thing
There are so many things we must do to lead effectively. But that’s part of what actually prevents us from getting better as leaders: There is so much to focus on.
And focusing on too much = focusing on nothing.
One of the most important parts of leading actually has nothing to do with our leadership competency. It has everything to do with our leadership perspective.
And Your Point Is…?
It may seem anti-climactic, but here it is: Being a good leader is not about you; it’s about the people you lead. They are the reason you are leading in the first place. As the saying goes: If no one is following you, you’re not leading; you’re just out for a walk.
Being a good leader is not about you; it’s about the people you lead.
Think of this as a foundation that the rest of your leadership effectiveness is built upon. When your leadership perspective is on others first…
- You listen more and tell less
- You see people as individuals with unique perspectives, abilities and giftedness
- You are more aware of how best to motivate each person
- Your approach varies; you act appropriately in the moment
- You work to maximize others’ potential
- You become a reliable resource
- They respond in trust, and you position yourself as a mentor and coach
- You become motivated to find more and better ways to lead
By contrast, if your primary perspective is on yourself…
- You tell more and listen less
- You see people as assets to accomplish your agenda
- You become critical of each person’s uniqueness because they do things differently from you
- Your approach narrows; you become rigid and less agile
- You work to make others like you
- You become the chokepoint
- They respond in compliance, and you position yourself as a boss
- You become protective; your priority interests are self-oriented, which is evident to everyone—except you of course
These differences may not be apparent on the surface. But they are very real and uber-apparent as time goes by.
Of the two leaders described above, which would you rather have as a boss? Which leader would you rather be?
The Big Picture
Whether you’re an executive, parent, teacher, friend … You will become a better leader by realizing people perform better when they are invested in rather than just directed. And this approach to leading is more meaningful, satisfying, challenging, motivating—and ultimately more effective—than focusing solely on making yourself better.
You will become a better leader by realizing people perform better when they are invested in rather than just directed