Everyone thinks about themselves. However, noble leaders think about themselves in unique ways. They think about living in ways that take others further.
Even though you’re thinking about yourself and your own behavior it isn’t selfishness because you’re thinking about yourself in the context of energizing others to achieve noble ends.
How to energize others?
Abandonment – unreserved dedication to the mission and vision of your organization. Everyone needs to feel you’re passion. I’m not saying jump up and down and get red in the face. I’m saying put enough skin in the game so that failure matters. Don’t hedge your bets. Invest personal collateral in your organizations vision.
When you protect yourself, others
draw back and protect themselves.
Abandon yourself more heavily in vision rather than mission.
Affirmation – make positive statements at least 4 times more than negative statements. You’re always dealing with problems. You’re always thinking about ways to improve your team’s performance. If you aren’t careful you’ll develop a negative attitude. Try this. When you see the bad, say the good. Realize positive affirmations energize others while minor corrections and suggestions demoralize.
Addition – decide to add rather than subtract from others. Find ways to lift others higher than you. One way to “energize by addition” is the challenge/comfort dynamic. Challenge someone to step out of their comfort zone. Let them feel the pressure and then add comfort to them by expressing confidence in their abilities and explaining how you’ll help. When a good person is 70%-80% ready for a new challenge, push them off the cliff and then help them land with both feet on the ground. They’ll be energized.
Editorial Note: I’m proposing to go through the alphabet of leadership. Today is the letter “A.” Tomorrow is “B” and so on.
What “A’s” of leadership can you add to the discussion?