When I look back and replay the tape on some of my leadership failures, the failures often stemmed from me taking my eye off of the simple and obvious. The times I have failed as a leader were those times I was focused on myself.
As leaders we have to realize the basic essential hunger that rests in all of us; the desire to be appreciated, approved, valued, and accepted.
It’s so basic and ripe with “common sense”, but if we as leaders could learn to focus all of our energy on serving others, we could overcome many of the problems that are plaguing our businesses, schools, homes, and personal lives.
If you want to be appreciated, then you must show & give appreciation. You want to be approved and valued, then you must generously dish out approval and value. You want to be accepted, then you must learn to accept others and love them where they’re at.
As the famous saying goes about recognition: grown men die for it and babies cry for it.
Some of the best leaders I have worked for were those that were generous in their appreciation and validation. Receiving a simple thank you note, e-mail, or verbal praise at a meeting meant more to me than any fancy award or formal recognition. The key was that their appreciation was genuine and sincere.
The beautiful thing about appreciation is that it’s one of those gifts that the more you give away, the more you’ll get in return. Don’t be stingy with this valuable gift.
Remember, at the root of all successful leadership is a servant heart. Despite what you are feeling inside, be deliberate in choosing to focus your energy on others.
It’s never about you; it’s always about them.