What’s most important to your leadership: adding value to yourself or adding value to others?
The correct and the only answer is — adding value to others. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t exercise that value. The corporate culture is hardwired to serve self first and subordinates eventually. John C. Maxwell, the author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, explains that many leaders maintain a misguided philosophy when it comes to leadership:
- To be in charge.
- To make the organization run smoothly.
- To make money for shareholders.
- To build a great company.
- To make us better than the competition, and win.
You’re No Fool. So Stop Subtracting From Your Team.
Unfortunately, leadership is viewed in the same way as success: the fight to climb the corporate ladder so you can conquer and rule.
I worked in an organization that I thought understood the importance of its employees. That was until I was on the receiving end of a forced reorganization.
I was shocked and upset. Naturally, I thought the move was due to my lack of performance. But when I raised my concerns about the move I was told, ”Your a good employee but the company’s needs come first.” The move was a demotion, so I protested the change only to be told to, ”You need to get over it.”
The bottom line in leadership isn’t how far we advance ourselves but how far we advance others. – John C. Maxwell
Are you making things better for your people or are you subtracting from your people? Whatever you think you’re doing let me clarify: a leader’s responsibility is to add value; not subtract it.
Want To Add Value? Memorize These 3 Brilliant Lessons.
So how is adding value accomplished? John C. Maxwell has developed three guidelines that help him add value to his team:
1. We add value to others when we… truly value others. Good leaders go out of their way to never subtract value from their people. They are intentional about adding merit and make it part of their core values.
2. We add value to others when we… make ourselves more valuable to others. The premise of adding value to the lives of your team members is based on the fact that you have usefulness to add. Are you able to teach a skill? Are you able to make a career changing introduction? Are you able to open the door to a better opportunity?
3. We add value to others when we… know and relate to what others value. As a leader how do you know what your team values? You listen. Many leaders are too quick to take charge. A good leader takes the opportunity to listen to what every person believes is important, and then leads.
Inexperienced leaders are quick to lead before knowing anything about the people they intend to lead. But mature leaders listen, learn, and then lead. – John C. Maxwell
Want Better Outcomes? Then Stop Being Selfish.
Human beings are selfish. It’s a biological our imperative. So adding value to others does not come naturally. For a leader to provide a benefit to others, you must be intentional, and a good start would be to follow Maxwell’s guidelines.
By being first-movers and value makers, not takers, they create better outcomes for everyone, themselves included. – Victor Wong, CEO of PaperG
The attitude of leadership affects the office culture. By having a servant mindset which adds value to your team, you will create a culture that better serves itself and your company.