How can leadership be about giving more to get more. Early in my career I had two questions about this when my mentors shared this philosophy with me. First, I questioned whether I would get more by giving more – would this actually work? If I focused my efforts on giving more than I received how could that end up as my success? From an accounting point of view, if more goes out than comes in that gets recorded as a loss. Second, “Let’s assume that it did work,” I said. “Isn’t my success the wrong reason to give more? After all helping others it is just the right thing to do.”
Then I heard the great Zig Ziglar say, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”
I confirmed this concept does in fact work, and not just for you as the leader. This concept works for everyone on your team, your company, the shareholders, and the community. Giving more to everyone around you than they can give back is the path to success.
Here are the three areas of leadership where you can get more by giving more:
If you want to be successful, ensure the success of others. Your success is nothing but the cumulative success of every person on your team. The sooner you realize this the closer you are to success. Think of the football coach. His success is absolutely defined by how well his assistant coaches coach, how well his players play, and with what level of expertise everyone on the team performs. His job is to find and lead the best people in every position. No matter where you lead, your success depends on the performance of everyone around you; your job as the leader is to do everything you can to ensure their success.
If you want to be recognized, recognize others. Everyone likes to hear “Good Job!” And every leader should praise their staff – that is the minimum. You should also recognize the accomplishments of your team to others – after all they did the work. This activity will bring more well deserved recognition to your team, and spread the word about their potential for future opportunities. This will also highlight your accomplishment in building and leading a strong team.
If you want to be promoted, promote others. You cant do more until what you do is being done by someone else – it’s a simple as that. Strong successful leaders strive for more responsibility, and opportunities to make a greater impact. If that’s you, then working with your team to get them ready to take your job is a sure way to get yourself ready for the next opportunity. It also gives the strong successful leaders on your team the same chance to take on more.
So Leaders, if you want more – give more. It’s just like Bob Burg said in his book, The Go-Giver, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”