Make Your Number One – Number Two
“How do you get people to pull you, rather than you pushing them?” The question came from a leader in South Africa on a recent Skype call.
Don’t waste your leadership influence getting people excited about things you’re excited about…
Go with their excitement.
Motivating the unmotivated is frustrating, exhausting, and wasteful.
Agree on organizational mission/vision first. Does everyone want to feed the hungry, sell widgets, or develop leaders, for example?
Disagreement on mission ends shared motivation.
Successful leaders, it’s true, generate enthusiasm in others. But, self-centered leaders push their own passions.
Stop pushing those who already buy-in!
Follow their enthusiasm, don’t push yours.
Get excited about things that excite them. Fuel excitement by going with, not against.
A young leader recently said, “When you start talking about developing leaders, I lose enthusiasm. I’m concerned about community impact.”
In the past, I would have worked to convince him that leadership development is the number one thing. What a demotivating waste of leadership influence. Suppose I succeed? I’ll have to keep convincing him. Ugh! Who cares as long as we’re all pulling in the same direction.
Real influence: Connect leadership development with community impact.
Align your number one with their number one.
Two question connection:
They’ll pull you to a shared destination, if you hitch your wagon to theirs. His number one thing, for example, was community impact. Ask two questions.
How would you like to impact the community? (Go with their number one thing, not against.)
What training is needed to help them impact the community? (KaChing! Leadership development, my number one thing.)
Successful leaders get excited about things
that excite others.
Why should they get excited about your thing when you’re not excited about theirs?
Let your number one thing sit in someone else’s backseat. Let someone else drive. Make your number one – number two.
How can leaders get excited about what excites others?
I like the thought of riding in the back seat. When you are always driving you often miss the things along your journey. Sometimes being in the back gives you a better view of what is just up ahead!
very lovely, inspired by this. changes a lot of perspectives 🙂
If you decide to you can work with people who believe what you believe If you choose this, what excites them and you are the same and you are connected by the passion of fulfilling the same goal
Find people who believe what you believe…….start with why
This resonates with me very much today as I have been struggling with topics to write about that interest others.
” Get excited about what excites them” – ahh…
Love this article. It’s so easy to want to push your agenda and goals on other people, but it’s so much more efficient and effective to utilize their goals/passions coupled with yours.
This reminds me of Kouzes and Posner’s Inspire a Shared Vision. And as a young man once observed when I was facilitating a class, it is much harder to Inspire a Shared Vision than it is to Share an Inspired Vision. A real challenge for leaders. Great post!
This is a superb post, Dan. I started the post a little deflated, because I thought “But a leader’s passion/enthusiasm should be contagious; his/her passion should drive the organization.” But as I read on, I realized that you’re right! We’re all very different; it only follows that we should have very different (or even slightly-different) visions and passions.
It’s easier (and better!) to bridge two passions than try to hammer them into your own. Sometimes, leaders say their organization is pursuing a “shared vision,” but it’s often one person’s vision. A truly shared vision unites the passions of key players for greater impact across the board.
This is excellent! I thought of immediate applications in my personal situation. THANK YOU.
Loved the blog! Collective intelligence is far superior in good times then individual’s intelligence. Collectively, a company knows market and environment better than a single leader.
If information is better and collective decision making is better then there is no harm in leader becoming an enabler rather than a directional person.