Key Point: The other day, a thought leader I respect suggested that the first order of enlightened leaders is to continuously help others progress/succeed. It got me thinking about how much organizations and the work lives of people would change for the better if we ALL came to work focused on how we might help “others” succeed everyday. This does not mean that we would avoid our own objectives, accountability or obligations. However, what if the lens we looked through was primarily aimed at helping others succeed while we advanced our own causes?
Let’s walk through the mundaneness of a “normal” day to consider how many of us might work through the premise of doing everything we could to achieve this.
- Inbound emails/texts: With every email/text we received, what if we asked ourselves what we thought the other person really was asking for and did everything we could to advance their cause by our response? Even if the email was the dreaded sales “spam,” we would understand that there was a real live salesperson with targets at the other end and would respond with the thought process of “how might I help this person,” including perhaps directly saying “no” so they might not waste their time with you in the future. A delete or non-response would be unacceptable.
- Outbound emails/texts: What if when crafting an email we questioned “how might this advance and help the receiver to be more successful?” Even if we had to say “no” or disagree with someone, we asked how might we help them find a way towards future success.
- Meetings: What if at every meeting our ambition was to help make sure every person in the meeting was listened to and understood. And we did everything we could to make others feel that they successfully contributed to the meeting.
- Interactions: On every personal interaction through the day we sincerely challenged ourselves to help the other person succeed in some way or another. (This doesn’t mean we have to pander, be a pushover, or be naive).
I am a deep believer in the following formula to move relationships forward: Personally Connect, Really Understand what the other wants, THEN determine the Right Action to Take. The “AND” to this equation is to ALWAYS find a way to help the person succeed and move forward. Of course, this does not apply when the other person’s intent is harmful. Thank goodness that perspective is rare.
Personal Leadership Moves:
- Challenge yourself to help every OTHER person be successful or move forward through every action, every day. Even if we do not feel like donating to the homeless person with the cardboard sign on the corner, we can smile and “see them.”
- If you think this is mush headed goofiness, challenge yourself between now and the end of December to better work and live this way. Will you notice any difference in others? In yourself?
Applying the “other” angle in Personal Leadership,
One Millennial View: There’s no denying the month of December has many people inherently thinking in more of a “giving” way. Whether it’s due to the holiday season, colder climates, or food-oriented occasions, everyone’s just tuned into the idea of helping others “succeed.” Of course, this fades out as quickly as most New Year’s resolutions, but considering our co-workers are a constant that don’t fade away after Jan. 1, this is an attainable goal with reminders at every cubicle.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis