The Richest Possible Life
I went to a wedding yesterday. I sarcastically say, “I hate weddings.” In reality weddings are reunions.
I know everyone in today’s image, except one. As they gathered for the shot, I started realizing I’d influenced all of them either directly or indirectly. I’ve spent hours with several. In other cases we went on a few walks. Still others listened while I taught.
This group represents many others I’ve been fortunate to influence over the years.
Don’t think I’m tooting my own horn.
These people make my life richer. They add more value to me than I add to them.
I see four men and one woman in this group, for example, who drove two and half hours to visit me after my nearly fatal accident.
Several have moved on or moved away. Many are current or emerging leaders in their organizations. Most are giving back to their communities, some in profound ways.
Don’t think everything you do for others works as you plan. There are varying degrees of connection and influence represented in this wedding image. Some loved something I said or did – others …
Most importantly, give yourself. Could you do better? Always. However:
Everyone loses when “I’m not good enough”
becomes the reason you do nothing.
You have something to give – an experience, a lesson learned, support, a listening ear – to everyone, regardless of who they are.
Honor your best self by giving it to others.
Seek the highest good of others without making demands.
Every high profile leader I’ve interviewed tells stories of people who helped them along their way. There’s always someone – usually many – who enhanced their lives.
What if you develop someone who leaves your organization? Some will. Good for them and good for you.
You don’t plan it but the people you enrich … enrich you.
Can you help us think of ways leaders can seek the highest good of others?
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Leaders who allow others to follow will always be more successful than those who make others follow. When the followers are voluntarily on board with the leaders ideas, they are always more committed to seeing the project or task through to the end.
You make me think of a brief exchange I recently had about pushing or pulling when it comes to leadership styles. There are pushes and pullers.
Jesus is the best example of servant leadership. He modeled self-sacrifice & told His followers that, to be great, one must be humble and willing to serve rather than be served. This is how a leader makes true, lasting impact.
One challenge is shifting from being served to serving is ego. 🙂
Dan, wish I could have been at the Wedding (I was not invited) to meet your friends!
I am reminded of the quote: “What is worse than training people only to have them leave? Not training them and having them stay!”
There is a passage in the Old Testament in Numbers 8:23-26 that motivates me to invest in others:
The LORD said to Moses, “This applies to the Levites: Men twenty-five years old or more shall come to take part in the work at the tent of meeting, but at the age of fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. They may assist their brothers in performing their duties at the tent of meeting, but they themselves must not do the work.
Mentoring/Coaching is really an opportunity to come along side others to assist them while not doing their role for them!
Dan what an incredible legacy you are leaving! Thanks for adding value to all of our lives!
You left a great nugget for us, “Mentoring/Coaching is really an opportunity to come along side others to assist them while not doing their role for them!”
One great challenge of leadership is not doing work for people. I think we leap forward when we finally learn this lesson.
I know your work with CRU gives you fantastic opportunities to influence leaders. You have my best wishes for continued success.
To seek the highest good of others I believe we need to find what motivates our people and then mentor, encourage, and empower. As you said, we cannot demand, but we can nudge and steer people into a place where they find their full potential.
Wonderful! In order to influence others think more about them than yourself. When we figure out what makes people tick we found the key to positive influence.
Our best investment’s are always people-centered. I’m always amazed when a –now adult– person from my Junior High Youth Group of the 70’s comes to me and says “you impacted my life by…x.y.z.” I’m humbled that I would be allowed such a role. Although sometimes labeled “secular work” in industry also I’ve been fortunate to enough touch people’s lives… These things last, while “Salesman of the Year” fades. Although counter-intuitive, positioning to serve is a place of lasting reward.
You’re nailing it Ken. Projects, goals, and deliverables can consume us. When that happens we’ve missed the point completely as leaders.
I’ll add that and vision statement that is people-centered is a colossal waste of time.
Dan, this post hit home today. I have a very close friend who is in the process of leaving planet earth and I have been reflecting on just how he has impacted the lives of an extraordinary number of people. One of the things that struck me was possibly an opportunity for those of us who lead or have lead teams and/or organizations to consider….If you as a leader have never had anyone tell you how greatly you have impacted their career; you might want to explore why that is. There has been opportunity, time, and circumstance to guide, instruct, enhance, and recognize others for their contributions….the point here is that we all can do this better ! You will NEVER have a more humbling experience than when one of them years later says to you “I just thought I would drop you a line and tell you how grateful I am for the perspective you gave me those many years ago; they simply had a tremendous impact not only on me but on the people I had the privileged to lead … Thank You So Very Much !”
I agree that good leaders do not make demand. They believe in helping others. They help others to enrich their lives. Leaders believe in building and nurturing relationship. They know, relationship based on expectation and demand does not last long. I also believe that the richest possible life is about pursing dream, influencing surroundings in positive way and encouraging others to pursue their goals. Leaders can seek the highest good of others by creating environment of trust, empathy and inspiring. Others should perceive leaders authentic, helpful and inspiring. I think effective leaders align their thinking with their actions. That is the core of their leadership values and this enhances their integrity.
Your post comes at a time whereI am at a place where I need to decide that I can and do make a differeance in others lives. As you wrote how is not for us to decide what the differance might be. We get to decide to contribute not taking consequences or benefit into consideration. Significant contribution is reward in itself. Thanks for directing my thoughts
Interesting. Not everyone is meant to be leader, at least in most cases. In certain cases those are followers can and should take the lead. It is not necessarily “better” to be a follower or a leader. What’s most important is to know your “strengths” and soar with them.