It’s not me, it’s you…

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” 

Chris Hadfield

The best leader I have ever worked for did two things exceptionally well. First, he asked great questions to keep our team focused on where we were going, not just what we were doing. Second, when we achieved great results, he stepped back and gave the team all the credit. He knew it wasn’t about him and as a result his team would have done anything for him. Leadership isn’t about you…

Help me, help you…

“I believe that you can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Zig Ziglar

What percentage of your time do you spend seeking to understand and help other people with their challenges? How does this compare to the time spent on yourself and your challenges? When I think about these questions I am pretty convicted. I know I don’t spend as much time as I should seeking to help others get what they want. It isn’t that I don’t want to, not at all, I just need to be more intentional with my efforts and energy.

How do you keep a focus on helping others front and center? What are the right questions to think about as you enter any conversation or relationship? Here are a few that I am going to start using at the beginning and ending of each day as framing questions to ensure that I am focused on helping and serving others.

  • Start of the day: Who can I intentionally seek to help achieve something they want today? What questions do I need to ask in my conversations to ensure I am focused on helping others?
  • End of the day: Who did I help today? What did they want or need that I was able to assist with? What did I hear or see that creates an opportunity for me to help someone achieve their goals?

Who is doing the measuring?

“The best way to measure how much you’ve grown isn’t by inches or the number of laps you can now run around the track, or even your grade point average — though those things are important, to be sure. It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”

R.J. Palacio

How do you measure the impact you have had on the lives of others?  It’s certainly easy to measure tangible things like those mentioned above, and I agree that they are definitely important, but what the impact of a kind word, a simple smile, a display of genuine concern for another person?  

I would bet that most people will never be aware of the positive impact that they have had my life.  I can think of many specific examples where the actions of another have had profound impact on who I am as a person today.  They weren’t trying to impact me, they were living and behaving in accordance with their deepest beliefs, choosing how they spent their time, and in so doing they touched my life.  

When I read this quote I immediately thought of a video that a good friend shared with me earlier this week.  

These “God Moments” or “Shoulder Taps” are so powerful  and so easy to overlook in today’s hyper busy and always connected and digitally measured world.  It makes me step back and think about how so much of life today is spent measuring success in “likes,” “favorites,” and “retweets.” The real measure of success is positively impacting the lives of others and ultimately it is being being measured, just not by me…

 

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