What set great leaders apart? Why did they create a lasting legacy? I think they were, what I call-A few good men and women. They wanted to make a lasting contribution to make our world a better place. They had a life-long mission to improve their community, organization and family.Albert Schweitzer, the 1952 Nobel Prize winner advised, “Seek always to do some good, somewhere. Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth. You must give some time to your fellow man. For remember, you don’t live in a world all your own. Your brothers are here too.”
The journey of great leadership takes time. It requires persistence and courage. Mostly, it requires you to pour your heart into others. Leaders are people who want to create significance and seek deeper connections to their relationship. They know that true leadership is and always will be about people.
I would like to share with you three ideas that can inspire your leadership to a joyful ride. Does that mean leadership is not challenging or stressful? Yes, it is, but remember the big picture and this is what I am here to share with you. The fruits of leadership are well worth the journey of growing to be a person of greatness.
Many of us want to achieve success. Mostly personal success. But great leaders are beyond personal satisfaction and glory. We grow and develop to create a better world around us when we have something to give. We can create significance by placing value on our connections and service to others. We add significance when we moving beyond ourselves. John Maxwell said it best, “Success is when I am adding value to myself, significance is when I add value to others.”
When you add significance to people lives, you lift them up, you help them advance, and make them part of something bigger than themselves. You take them along the journey of becoming who they were made to be. Significance in leadership is cherry on the top!
John F Kennedy once remarked that, “Efforts and courage are not enough, without purpose and direction.” Purpose is the engine. It’s what gives your life meaning and energy. Purpose keeps you motivated and hungry to achieve leadership greatness. Without purpose you are aiming low. When I talk to leaders, my first question is, “Why do you want to be a leader?”
Leaders who are purpose-driven coach and mentor people to become the best they can be. People are looking for meaningful work. They want to know that their work matters. Meaningful work can help your team understand how their strengths, goals and abilities help them do their work well and support the organization’s vision. In turn, the organization should understand how it makes a positive difference in the larger community and beyond.
Our unique contribution to the world and to our business, community and family lies at the intersection of our talents, passions, conscience, and a compelling people’s needs. This intersection is what will ultimately make you an irreplaceable leader. The late Stephen Covey said, “Always believe your most important work is ahead of you, never behind you. It’s essential to live with that thought. Regardless of what you have or haven’t accomplished, you have important contribution to make. You may do different work than you have done in the past year; it may be significant in different ways, but it’s important work nevertheless, especially if you can positively impact the lives of others. We should avoid the temptation to keep looking over our shoulder in the rearview mirror at what we have done and instead look ahead with optimism.”