"Before you are a leader, success is all about yourself.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
I have often contemplated that quote from the most distinguished chairman and CEO of General Electric: "...Success is all about growing others." To me, it's all about having a heartfelt "AoS" (that's 'Attitude of Service', if you are new to my world of obscure acronyms). When a leader chooses a lifestyle of AoS, the benefits are countless. Not only will the leader develop more meaningful and more loyal (longer-lasting) relationships, but s/he will leave the work place everyday knowing their job was "...well done, good and faithful servant...." Of greatest significance, however, is watching the seed of the investment in AoS as it blossoms into the fruit of valued, rewarding, exponential personal development.
The Internet is for saying things that are on your mind, right? So, here's my premise: It is impossible for anybody with an Attitude of Service to serve others without also growing others. In fact, it is impossible for anybody in an Attitude of Service to SERVE others without also growing themself. Personal development will occur on many levels, of course. Whether you acknowledge it or not, AoS will always result in growth -- internal AND external. If you lead, you will GROW!
On Encouragement: Negativity has always been a pet peeve of mine. I just don't like it <sorry>. Though sometimes not as obvious as we might wish, it seems to me that there is just way too much GREATness surrounding us to be anything but positive and encouraging with each other (the world needs more of this, right?). What I discovered much too late in life is that POSITIVITY, in and of itself, is a powerful encourager. ENCOURAGEMENT is a very powerful motivator and leadership quality. And encouragement is a core factor of of AoS. Whoa, pardner! ...You mean that I can be an encourager AND live an Attitude of Service simply by being POSITIVE? ...By presenting to others the positive perspectives on the issues that matter to them?!? YES, YOU CAN!
AoS is infectious. As you develop and use your skills of encouragement, you are also serving and growing those around you. You are actively, positively, developing a culture of people who will similarly embrace AoS and who will, in turn, encourage, grow, and serve those around them! And those people will do the same! And so on, and so on... It's a movement of blessings!!! You will quickly see how an awesome culture of spirited helpfulness and collegiality will turn a mediocre organization into an absolutely great one! If you agree with me, and I know that I do, this is the kind of culture that an effective leader will leverage to make even greater things happen!
Here is your "Aha Moment:" If you, yourself, want to be enriched with leadership success, I propose that AoS will get YOU there faster than the ever-so-popular ego-based, step-on-others, and/or take-credit-for-work-you-did-not-do achievement strategies. Net-net, you reap what YOU sow. In AoS, what you will grow is a team, a culture, and YOU!
Someone much smarter than me once said, "Your success in life is proportional to the number of people you have served." Another way of saying this is, "If you want to be most successful, you need to serve the most people." I read it to mean, "If you want to be the most enriched, you need to serve the most people."
"Do you want to be enriched?", I ask rhetorically, then become a Servant Leader and SERVE!
If you have made it this far into this blog, you likely already have an Attitude of Service, and you likely already have heard all of the cliches about leadership and service to others -- by coaching and mentoring and "growing" the extra mile. Here's my personal twist on some of those pop culture leadership service corollaries that I have picked up over the years. These are the less obvious versions, perhaps. I love bullet point lists (enough said?); feel free to share:
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