Three Steps to Great Leadership
Small managers need to feel big.
Egotistical managers walk around like they run the place but no one enjoys an insecure, heavy handed, meddlesome manager.
- Throw their weight around.
- Get huffy when challenged.
- Love control.
- Thrive on perks.
- Steal the spotlight.
- Put people down.
- Feel threatened.
- Need to be coddled.
- Hold grudges and withhold gratitude.
- Elevate themselves while overshadowing others.
- Know more than everyone else.
- Have all the answers.
Small managers have big egos.
Three steps to great leadership:
Ego blocks greatness.
Service is the path to greatness.
The more people you serve, the greater you become.
#1. Give yourself wholeheartedly to service.
Think under not over.
Keep saying, “I’m here to serve the people who serve this organization.”
The higher you go, the more people you get to serve. Great leaders are at the bottom of the heap, not the top.
#2. Pour into yourself so you can pour into others.
When I say, “Pour into yourself,” I don’t mean go easy on yourself!
Ease is the path to oblivion. Can you name one person who makes you better by pushing you out of your comfort zone? Comfort is the path to more of the same.
I’m saddened by how many leaders lose themselves to position and how few pour into their own leadership. Can you name three people who challenge your thinking and strengthen your heart?
#3. Stop doing leadership. Be a leader.
The greatest loss of leadership is forgetting who you are.
Who helps you find and express your authentic leadership? Is there one person who asks you, “Who do you want to be?”
Leeches pressure you to do stuff at the expense of your soul. Some leaders don’t even understand the question, “Who do you want to be?”
What are the top three characteristics of the person you aspire to be today? (Not activities.)
How might you give yourself to service today?
You are on a roll, Dan! Your latest posts are some of the greatest ones I’ve seen on this site.
My top three characteristics are:
1. Thoughtful – think about others before myself
2. Coaching – do not tell people what to do, help them see other options and empower them
3. Open – accept criticism, reflect and make positive changes in myself as a result
The word “lead” comes from Middle/Old english and suggests action, travel or “going with”. Would you travel without a map or these days, a GPS? Leaders are our guides. This is how they serve others. They make the path ready, they are confronted with the obstacles and are tasked to analyze the situation and discover new or better ways to deal with what’s ahead. They do this hard work so others can do what they do best.
Have a great weekend!!
Thanks Dr. Pinzon. You sure know how to encourage a guy.
Adding “accept criticism” to openness feels like a real challenge to me. Thanks for that.
Let’s see, top three characteristics… I think Dr. Pinzon hit some excellent ones. We are only looking for three, but I might add:
Empathy – Where is the other person coming from? Many times we make assumptions and are way off base. If we do not truly know what the person is thinking or what their motivation is, how can we work effectively with them
Thanks Bill. Your idea that empathy is seeing, “where is the other person coming from,” brings great clarity to this topic.
Three characteristics: empathetic, transparent, and engaged. Though some of the small managers are small in stature (Hitler, for example), there are too many “small” managers that act consistent with your list – small in leadership characteristics including brain too often.
They are lousy managers and are unlikely ever to be a leader!!! Thanks for another great post.
Thanks John. As I read these characteristics, I’m compelled to think of behaviors that express them. Perhaps another post…
What does empathetic, transparent, and engaged look like? 🙂
A leader who’s aware, is caring, is open, listens well, what some call a servant leader.
1 I want to be fully supportive of anyone I’m working with (above, below or sideways) so that they can work as well, as effectively and as pleasantly as they can.
2 I want to be curious about what we are doing. Are we doing the right thing? Are we asking the right questions to deliver what we’re asked? Is there anythingelse in what we are finding that adds value, to us or the customer?
3 Does it all stand up to rigorous scrutiny? Internal and external quality audits, ethical considerations, personal morals?
This is a great question to ask yourself, if not every day, then frequently. Keep yourself where you need to be. Thanks Dan!!!
Thanks Mitch. You expanded my thinking with every explanation you gave. Much appreciated.
Are we asking the right questions? bingo!
A great leader (negating self-preservation) should strive to be unnecessary in the day-to-day. It means that you have enstilled trust and faith in your employees to make the right decisions on their own…while you continue to serve as their saftey net.
Intentionally pouring into people today.
Dan, if you’ve talked about once, you’ve talked about a thousand times: Humility is a key character and leadership quality—especially when it comes to serving our staff. Without humility, I’m not sure we can express our humanity.
Scripture tells us, “the meek shall inherit the earth.” I often wondered if humility was passive like sticking our head in the sand, or hanging our head low. Yet, scriptural scholars say the word “meek” comes from the Greek “praos” which means “it takes discipline to be humble,” for humility does not mean we think less of our ourselves, rather we think of ourselves less.
The meek or humble inherit the earth as a result of their discipline which allows them to experience the joys of virtue and goodness in what they are actually doing and what they are capable of doing.
So humility is an active state of getting out of the way and building others up. It means putting others and the mission first, and consciously praising the character, abilities, efforts, performance, and even good cheer of others. We reward best-practices and excellence. We recognize potential. And we value critical inquiry.
We can accomplish anything in life, provided we do not mind who gets the credit. We can’t brag we are humble and be humble. Unless humility proceed, accompany, and follow all the good that is accomplished, unless we keep our eyes fixed on it–we are nothing more than a big act done in pride.
I WILL ADD INTEGRITY IN LEADERSHIP TO YOUR POWERFUL COMMENT.
Love your posting so much,,, i think some of my top characteristics are 1.Honesty 2.loyalty and love/care care by definition that these are humans and they are valuable beyond anything at the end of each day everyone return back to there families where they are loved.. So care is very important. Loyalty is to take everyone regardless of what position they hold in the company with respect and honor looking deep into there spirit, loyalty to serve.. Honesty is to be true to yourself and others in your organization, im sure any sane person find no pleasure in deceiving and lies.. i thank you again for the article that reminds us of who we…peace..
love the post, awesome !
Thank you Dan, I’m in a period of contemplation on how my personality and how I lead fits with the organisation I’m part of. Top 3 qualities for me:
Authentic: it needs to be genuine for me and others.
Purpose: There needs to be a point, and one we share.
Visible: I need to be there alongside people, I’ve lost a bit of that and need to get it back.
Time to get back to being the natural leader I am and less of who I think others want me to be.
Thanks Thomas. My experience is it’s easy to lose yourself. Best for the journey. Thanks for sharing your insights.
I love this list! The reason being is because it is focused on service instead of on ruling. I think so many people miss out on that
Thank-you Dan Rockwell! I really enjoy your daily messages! Everything I have read and learned about leadership over the years speaks to serving others. I am a strong believer of this leadership style and have always been this type of person. However, there are some people who are in leadership positions who simply don’t get this simple concept. Hence, Mr. Rockwell’s work!
Thank Pete. Congratulations for being on the servant-leadership journey. I wish you continued success.
Thanks Dan Rockwell! Everything I have read and learned about leadership over the years speaks to serving others. I am a firm believer in this leadership philosophy. I have been this type of person long before my professional position. However, there are some people who are important leadership positions who simply don’t get this simple concept. Dan, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this post! Love your work!