Looking back on my more than 12 years of leadership experience, I have come to the conclusion that leadership is no more what’s regarded as “conventional wisdom.
Are you of thought that you are a self made men or woman?
If you do, then you really need to look into the mirror and ask what's wrong with the "self-made" theory. My answer is "Everything"
If your pride, ego, arrogance, insecurity, or ignorance keeps you from recognizing the contributions of others, then it’s time for a wake-up call.
Here’s the thing – real leaders don’t take credit, they give it. While I take complete responsibility for all my failures and shortcomings, I take very little credit for my own success. Virtually all of the good things that have happened to me over the years have been the result of the collaborative efforts of many. Leadership isn’t about self-serving behaviors; it’s about service beyond self. It’s not about you, and when it becomes about you, trouble is not too far away.
Enter the media – journalists and publicists have made legends of out of success stories like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and a host of other inspirational stories. While I don’t question for a moment the legendary success of the aforementioned, I do question whether said success was solely a matter of “self.” Behind every success are significant investments and contributions by some if not all of the following people: family, friends, associates, protagonists, antagonists, advisors, teachers, authors, mentors, coaches, and the list could go on.
Without question, the most successful business people on the planet are those that have learned to blow through self-imposed barriers to openly harness the power of broader spheres of influence. Realizing that you need help is a sign of leadership maturity, and asking for help is a sign of leadership sophistication. If you want to raise your leadership game to a new level, learn to operate beyond the limitations of your own personal bubble and make yourself easy to help. Smart leaders easily engage, effortlessly collaborate, and instinctively look for help from others. If you desire to enlist others in your success, incorporating the following 5 things into your leadership style will help:
- Don’t be a jerk if you’re perceived as a jerk people will not only go out of their way not to help you succeed, but they will do everything possible to impede your success. But nevertheless this experience of being a jerk is an experience for you to improve.
- Give credit where credit is due
Smart leaders understand there is far more to be gained by giving away credit than by retaining it. The best leaders don’t seek credit – they seek results. They understand the force multiplier that comes via a motivated team effort. Always do this!
- Go out of your way to help others
Yes this works as you know around – you reap what you sow. If you are sincerely interested in helping others, and make it a habit to go out of your way to do so, then those people will likely be inclined to reciprocate.
- Know what you want and focus your efforts to that end:
You must develop a clear picture of what it is that you want to accomplish, and then apply laser-like focus in the pursuit of your goals.
- Make your goals known to those that can help you:
It is not only important to communicate your vision to those in a position to help you succeed, but always make sure and ask for their help. Don’t be bashful or embarrassed, but rather confidently recruit others to become enablers and evangelists of your cause. You need to believe that one of your top priorities is team building, and consistently seek out greater numbers of people to champion your cause and scale your efforts.
In the final analysis it’s really all a matter of perspective – you can either view yourself as part of a hierarchical world sitting at the top of the org chart puffing your chest and propping-up your ego, or you can view yourself as the hub at the center of a large and diverse network. The latter is both more profitable and enjoyable than the former. You can either choose to build your career at the expense of others, or by helping others – choose wisely.