It was a long time ago. 34 years ago as I write this.
I remember sitting at my desk at the bank in Chevy Chase, MD and considering my boss at the time. He was a nice guy and clearly good at his job. He was fair with his employees and showed genuine interest in them. That being said, I wasn’t considering how he was at work. I was looking at the complete picture of his life. And without going into detail, I can remember thinking to myself…
“There is no way I want to be like him.”
Recognize, that this man was successful in his career and had achieved an enviable position in a lucrative area of business. As someone who was early in my career, why wouldn’t I want that for myself?
Because the Picture is Way Bigger.
This had nothing to do with whether or not I wanted to be a banker, which is an excellent field to be in (Having said that, I didn’t stay in banking, instead choosing to be an entrepreneur).
This had to do with the entire picture of life. There was nothing else inspiring for me. And this is the point.
In Leadership, Those You Serve are Looking at You in Total.
If there are any “holes” in your boat, either from a practical life perspective or a behavioral perspective, they are going to be apparent. You cannot hide weaknesses. You cannot hide the effects of let-downs in self-discipline. You cannot hide any deficiencies in communication skills or productivity skills.
You cannot hide anything.
My Leadership Secret…
I am the first to tell you that I am not the best in my fields of endeavor. In fact, I’m not even concerned with being the best in my field. I only focus on being the best version of myself possible so that when I show up in my work, I show up in a way that is congruent with what I say and teach.
To be an excellent leader, you don’t need to be the best performer in your field, you just have to have mastered the competencies of that field. I’m a big college basketball fan. If you look at the absolute best coaches, they were competent players, but typically not remotely the best in playing the game.
They are simply the best leaders and developers of players.
What I’m pointing out is the impact your entire life has on your ability to influence those you are serving in leadership. If you are not taking care of yourself, and you aren’t hitting it out of the park in your home life, this will show up in your work.
A large part of inspiring the people you lead is having them aspire to grow. In attempting to do this, your example has a major impact. Most of the people you lead, truly don’t care about being the big player in their career. They have other goals and aspirations, and their career is ideally serving those.
Success is Different for Everyone.
When you are congruent totally in your life, this is something those who follow you will see and feel. They will want to follow you simply because they know that you will lead them to a better place in their life. This is where the “3 Circles Living” platform comes into leadership.
By living this way, you will show up in the best way possible for those you lead of course, but you will also be modelling living a life that others want to achieve, regardless of their career goals.
Instead of being able to quietly poke holes in you, because you demand that they are disciplined and work hard, yet are showing that you aren’t doing that overall, they will see that you are someone who practices what you preach as a life fundamental.
This creates deeper trust in your ability to lead them to whatever life they want to have. I could write, and speak on this topic for a long time, but for now, the take-away is this:
Model and promote “3 Circles Living” in your workplace, and people will be happy to work hard for you, show up in the best way possible more often, and productivity and retention will improve.
Was this helpful for you? Please let me know in the comments below and feel free to share.
P.S. I am committed to helping as many people be their best self as possible, because I believe that allows each of us to make our greatest contribution to all. The 3 Circles Living Platform is a key to this. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone was living more joyfully, productively, vitally, and with purpose!
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