I 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.”