Great Leaders Think ‘Leaders’ not ‘Bodies’

LeadersthinkI have learned a valuable lesson over the years that I still have to remind myself of frequently. One of my strengths is “Achiever,” which is to get things done and to do so quickly and efficiently. Many of you are the same. Nearly everything you do goes on a list and you begin your day by reviewing your to do list. You dislike interruptions because it interferes with your progress in knocking out your to do list.

I have learned that a to do list is very helpful as long as the list contains things that I should be doing. However, a personality like mine can be overtaken by the to do list and miss opportunities to invite and empower other leaders to utilize their own strengths and gifts. This is why I have learned to keep reminding myself to…

Think “Leaders” not “Bodies”

To think “leaders” means to look for opportunities to invite others to join you in the leadership journey. Often times, people with a personality similar to mine look for “bodies” to get the job done rather than “leaders” who will take it to the next level. For example, if you have a project that requires 10 people to complete, you basically have the following two options: (1) search for TEN people, or (2) search for ONE leader. If you choose option one, you recruit the people, you plan the project, and you oversee execution. However, if you choose option two you step into the realm of true leadership and release others to grow and lead. Sure, bodies will get the project done; however, when you invite someone to lead rather than a body to do, the following happens:

1. Your efforts as a leader are multiplied.

You can either hang on to leadership and stay where you are or you can release others into leadership and multiply your efforts AND energy. Releasing others into leadership expands your capacity to have a greater impact.

2. You become a mentor instead of a manager.

Managers are responsible for details and moving parts, while mentors are responsible for developing people into their own future.

3. The results will most likely exceed what you could’ve done alone.

Leaders who think ‘leaders’ are more likely to produce the kind of excellence that every endeavor deserves. If you find yourself frustrated by the level of excellence that you are seeing, perhaps you should consider giving more away.

There are more results that will occur when leaders begin thinking “leaders,” but I’ll stop here and leave room for discussion.

I encourage you to keep REACHING FORWARD in your leadership journey, but by all means—-invite others to join you!

Feel free to share other benefits of thinking “leaders.”


2 thoughts on “Great Leaders Think ‘Leaders’ not ‘Bodies’

  1. David Liedtke

    I completely agree PS.
    I have seen this work personally over the years at work.
    I have been blessed with a handful of folks who are dear friends of mine and who are also true leaders.
    The friendships began with them leading me in one way or another.
    We all met in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.
    This area was also known as the Sunni Triangle and was at that time known for some of the bloodiest and fiercest fighting in all of the war.
    These men were leading the support mission for the troops in that region.
    They groomed me and raised me up into a leadership position during that time.
    This blessing of growth has now come back around.
    The war effort has diminished leaving a void professionally for them.
    Fortunately and obviously for the glory of God, I moved into a leadership role in Oil and Gas.
    I never forgot these men and they are now a part of my team and they are growing in a new way themselves! They are also growing me in new ways.
    Their efforts planted a seed that grew into greater prosperity all because they chose to grow one leader instead of simply utilizing the head count!
    In their case and in most cases I am sure, the selfless investment that they made paid unforeseen dividends years later!
    At the time, none of us realized each other’s faith and some of us (including myself) were lukewarm at best. Now we are all stronger in our faith and discuss this amongst ourselves often!
    We all realize that this was no coincidence!
    God had a plan!

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