I have worked with a number of individuals over the years who were so focused on what a management position could do for them that they lost sight of the true nature of leadership. Their first questions were about vacations, bonus plans and corporate cards. Their sole purpose for becoming a manager was to enjoy the perks. They missed the point.
A leader’s primary function is to serve the best interests of their people. Focusing on “what’s in it for me” makes you an arrogant leader and gives people the impression that you will sacrifice them for your own agenda. It will also erode any trust you have developed with them.
Some managers think they can hide their personal agenda and spin situations so that they appear to be taking action on behalf of others. If you are one of these leaders and you think you are being cleaver, I’m here to tell you you’re not. Chances are very good that your team is far more perceptive than you give them credit for being. They see through your smoke screens and they know when you are promoting yourself at their expense, especially when you don’t hold yourself to the same standards you enforce with them or when you use your title as a “get out of jail free” card for bad behavior. Most people can smell a self-serving attitude a mile away and they will want none of it.
To be successful managing others, adopt the attitude of a servant leader. Be more concerned with helping your team members succeed than you are in promoting yourself. Come to work every day and look for ways you can help your team by:
• Eliminating obstacles to their productivity and success
• Finding additional resources to make their jobs easier
• Showing them appreciation
• Rewarding and recognizing their achievements
• Investing in their growth and development
Servant leaders believe the path to their success lies in serving the needs of the people they lead first, not their self-interests. They are not interested in directly raising their own profile within the organization but in identifying ways they can increase the growth, cooperation and success of their team. Become a servant leader. Practice humility. Remember what Ken Blanchard says, “People with humility don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.”
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“You Have to Say the Words” is Almost Here! The book is at the printers and should be available in about two weeks! Pre-order your copy now and you will receive it autographed and the shipping is on me! (U.S. shipping locations only) This offer is only good for a limited time, until the book is released on September 26, 2011, so request your copy now at www.achievementpress.com or click the link below.