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No One Has to Follow You

This is a hard one to wrap your head around when you have people working for you, isn’t it? But it’s true. You can be the CEO of a company and tell someone to do something, and they can say NO. Of course, there are consequences for them, but the fact remains that they can simply choose to walk away. Or worse, they choose to stay and do the thing you ask to the least acceptable level. They can choose to stay and offer you none of their ideas, none of their perspectives, none of their extra effort. Neither situation is what you would want is it?

Today we are clearly in the age of the volunteer. In today’s age, there are so many different ways that someone can create income, that should they choose to do so through your business/endeavor at any point, if they do not like what is going on, they can leave and do something else.

And your best people will leave if they are not valued.

What I am sharing with you relative to the volunteer perspective has been the truth for many years now, but COVID has taken this to an entirely different level. The impact of the pandemic on people’s perspective in general has been nothing short of dramatic.

I spoke openly starting in March/April of 2020 about how the unfolding crisis would cause a shift in priorities, and accelerate the movement of remote work. I had hoped that personal health and focus on personal relationships would become heightened priorities as well, and they have for some, but I have no data to back that up.

What has become abundantly evident is that the nature of the role work/career/money pursuit play in how people will make decisions about the way they spend their life has definitely changed. An article on Inc.com suggested that 52% of employees plan to leave their job in 2021. That’s a staggering figure. And puts quite a giant exclamation point on the idea that we are in a volunteer age.

If you want your business to be strong, you have to have people who WANT to work with you. If you are only getting the effort they “have” to give, you are going to have a hard time competing in today’s world, and likely will have turnover that is beyond what you can imagine or handle.

You Have to Earn Their Effort

True leadership is cultivating influence to the degree that people will gladly give you their best effort. This takes time and is based on many factors. It starts with having a servant mentality.  And this mentality starts with you, as the leader being in the best position to serve.

This means attention to two things consistently: mindset and capacity.

Mindset means you have to get clear that your focus should be to serve those in the organization in a way that they grow and excel in their work. This is an investment you make in them. Others first, mission first. You have to lead this. You have to invest in the training they need. You have to invest time in finding their strengths and intrinsic drivers. You have to involve them, build them up, support them, and then recognize them as they grow. Leadership is like a relationship. The more you put into someone, the more they will give back to you by taking ownership and championing you. You can’t tell people to listen to you, you have to make it so that they wouldn’t dream of not listening to you.

Capacity means you have to invest in yourself to be at your best when you show up to serve, and also so that you demonstrate an inspiring example. This is going to fall into three different areas. First you have to take care of your health so that you have the physical and emotional energy necessary to show up for the organization you serve, and also to show up in your home life. The close personal relationships in your life provide a level of joy and grounding that no level of professional success will ever come close to. This bolsters your positive energy and gives you an endless reservoir to pour into the organization. These two things (health circle and relationship circle) are massive inspirations in leadership, because these offer an example that is attractive and desirable. This spills into your credibility and makes others WANT to follow you. Your “private life” has a visible impact in your leadership whether you believe it should or not. The third part of this capacity piece, is your own personal/professional development. You have to become a master in the interpersonal and productivity core competencies, and then you have to study and develop the corresponding leadership competencies so that you have the skills to execute the mindset aspects I mentioned above.

This probably seems like a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it? It should. Because it is. A true leader, regardless of the size of the organization, is affecting many lives every day and this is not something to take lightly. If this was of some value to you, please share. Below is a video where I talk a little further about Servant Leadership.

If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.

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Many Blessings, Todd

P.S. Do you want to live your richest life possible? That begins with taking care of yourself. But that brings us to an entirely different area of struggle doesn’t it? If you a hard time getting yourself to do the healthy things you know you should do, here is a video on what I believe is the Ultimate Health Hack.


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