The Most Unremarkable Thing Leaders Do

The most unremarkable thing leaders do is worry about themselves.

  1. Self-worry shrinks life.
  2. Fretting – over yourself – makes others into enemies.
  3. Self-focused hand-wringing stinks like fear.

Lousy leaders worry too much about themselves.

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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.

Pouring in:

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.

Exponential influence:

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?

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