Authentic Leaders Delight in the Success of Others

by May 9, 2022

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

The cornerstone to growing as a company is teamwork. Teamwork is about getting excited for our peers’ wins and helping them win.

Authentic leaders primary focus is caring for others and championing their success.

Employees need to feel supported instead of being tested. Support leads people to work as teams instead of trying to stand out as individual heroes.

As a company, you shine best when you focus on doing things great and striving for excellence vs. perfection.

“Perfectionism divides people, and also isolates those who practice it, while commitment to excellence unites people.”

Excellence is an outstanding value to nurture, whereas perfectionism is a disease.

As a leader it’s important to create an environment where you humbly serve others, and the organization is inspired to replicate this behavior.

Help People Pursue their Aspirations

Create career paths that challenge employees to learn and develop the skills needed to achieve their own aspirations while adding value to the company.

The more employees connect with why, what they do contributes to their own long-term success (success they have defined, not you), the more they sense your real interest in helping them achieve those aspirations. 

In turn this enables more motivated and happy employees, which positively impacts productivity .

Help People Develop Certainty

If your nature is to find faults in others, you’re operating from the framework of doing things right vs. opening yourself to finding ways to do things great. That is a classic example of perfectionism vs. excellence at play.

When you stop fault-finding, you discover a self-power that gives you certainty in all you do.

Certainty makes you turn the impossible into “I am possible.”

It’s natural to find faults, to complain, to find every reason why something is broken; sadly, it comes from an animalistic consciousness based on survival, which says, “I don’t need to take responsibility for anything, as long as I find fault in something or someone”.

When you remove fault finding from the equation you begin to instill a sense of shared accountability across the company. This causes everyone to own the success of the company, as a team.

“Be the cause of positive change, not part of the reason for needing to make changes.”

When employees carry the burdens of the company together as a team, you will have only one outcome: Success.

Be a Good Follower

The best leaders first learned how to follow. Nonetheless, as a leader, you’ll always be a follower because you end up following a principle, a belief, or a vision.

You can’t lead if you don’t know how to follow.

As a leader, don’t sit up in an ivory tower. Instead, get down in the trenches and help carry the load.

This will inspire everyone to work in a similar fashion.

Your example is key to inspiring teamwork.

Your willingness to help at all levels of the organization will inspire the same in others voluntarily.

Expect Greatness but Have Heart

If you don’t care deeply for the success of your peers and employees, you can’t expect them to care about yours.

This especially applies with clients. Helping them win is a calling, not a job.

If you have difficulty caring about anyone but yourself, volunteer for a good cause to get out of your own sense of entitlement.

Times have changed and imperialistic-style leadership is almost dead, so unless you want to become extinct like the dinosaurs, adopt a more convivial style that inspires collaboration.

Learn to say “I’m sorry” when you make a mistake.

Own your mistakes, for no reason other than to avoid creating space and separation between yourself and employees, and for the employees amongst themselves.

In owning your own mistakes, this will help your team own theirs as well.

Space and separation kill teamwork. It becomes your company’s form of cancer.

Make People’s Lives Easier

It’s one thing expecting greatness because you have the power due to your title; it’s another because you care about the individual’s growth and inspire it.

“Treat employees with respect by validating their hard work, compensating them well for a job well done, and showing them human dignity.”

Remember that your employees have families, aspirations, dreams, and desires, too — they’re not machines you can turn on and off. If you can’t afford the value of senior talent, don’t try to squeeze every penny from them with offers that show no respect for their worth.

Serve others and in turn they will serve you, but don’t have expectations of reciprocation.

There is a principle I learned when I worked with PwC during the 9/11 disaster in New York City. This came from Soft Selling in a Hard World by Jerry Vass, which speaks to what motivates people’s decisions. Vass called it the four P’s (Power, Prestige, Profit, Pleasure).

Each of us is motivated by at least one of these principles, and some of us by all four.

Nonetheless, figuring out what drives each person can help you shape how you serve them and get the best out of them.

Everyone responds well to authentic care. Even those wounded who have adopted a tough demeanor to protect themselves want to be part of a team — it’s human nature to be part of a community. 

Find Pleasure in Others’ Success

There is greater pleasure in seeing someone else win and being the catalyst behind it than for them to just win for you. Recognize your peers and hold them in high esteem.

Find a way to help them win and in turn, you’ll never lack any help.

“Helping each other win is the secret to growing as a company, and it’s also personally fulfilling to find joy in other people’s success.”

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