The Most Unremarkable Thing Leaders Do
The most unremarkable thing leaders do is worry about themselves.
- Self-worry shrinks life.
- Fretting – over yourself – makes others into enemies.
- Self-focused hand-wringing stinks like fear.
Lousy leaders worry too much about themselves.
I’m often asked, “If you could give advice to your younger self, what would you say?”
Truth is, my younger self wouldn’t listen. But, if I felt foolhardy, I’d say to my thick-headed younger self, “Get over yourself. You don’t need to be the smartest most talented person at the table. In fact, you aren’t.”
Worry about yourself:
The best way to worry about yourself is to worry about others.
Worry about others by pouring into them.
#1. Trust others to rise to new challenges. Lousy leaders are “better” at everything. Arrogant talent is a barrier to the growth of others. Humility opens doors for others.
Trust makes others feel powerful.
#2. Ask about issues and challenges. Self-worry makes you think about your problems. Worrying about others allows you to make space for them.
#3. Affirm strengths. Begin your next meeting with everyone’s name on the whiteboard. Ask your team to give one strength for each teammate. You might ask, “What is Mary/John really good at?” (Duplicates are expected and affirming.)
Conclude the conversation by discussing, “What value do your strengths bring to our team/organization?”
#4. Schedule a one-on-one. Let them set the agenda. What would you like to discuss?
#5. Silence your fixer. One of the best ways to pour into someone is to pull out their best self.
Average leaders – who pour into others – go further than self-focused superstars.
Pouring into others is a perpetual motion machine.
Encourage your team to pour into others. You might begin a meeting by asking, “How can you pour into others this week?” (Who, when, how.)
What do unremarkable leaders do?
How might leaders pour into others?