Leadership – it’s not all about you!

All of us are naturally a little bit selfish – it’s part of our human nature. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing leaders shouldn’t be, it’s self-interested. A team led by a leader who is only focused on what they stand to gain is a team destined to fail eventually.

Leadership and selflessness can and should go hand-in-hand

Out of everyone in a team it’s quite often those in leadership positions who have trouble with moving away from self-interested behaviours or doing things only for personal gain. After all, often leaders are ambitious and strong; they hold a lot of influence and power and those traits are often found in people who are only interested in climbing to the top for their own interests.

The great news is that this is all just a myth. Leaders are often powerful, influential, ambitious and strong but those traits do not mean that selfish leadership is the only way to lead. In fact, each of those traits can be used to push the whole team forward, not just the leader as an individual.

So, what does selfless leadership not look like?

Many people think that to be a selfless leader, they need to go to extremes of self-sacrifice but, while sacrifices always need to be made in any leader’s journey, there is no need to be recklessly selfless.

There are times when it is important to look after yourself first and foremost – your health and mental well-being are a great example of this. It’s similar to putting an oxygen mask on in an aeroplane – adults are instructed to put theirs on before helping their children and it makes sense. You need to be in the best position possible to help those around you and if your well-being is suffering, you won’t be able to help your team.

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” – Rick Warren

You are just as valuable as everyone else on your team, so there’s no reason why you need to treat yourself as though you were lesser, whether that’s within your mind or in your body.

How can you start being focused on others in your leadership?

Think of all the characteristics and skills of a good leader. Many of them – delegating, accountability, empathising and empowering others; honesty, integrity, and great communications skills – are already focused on others rather than on you as a leader. It’s all about fostering these skills and characteristics to start facilitating the success of others in your team.

Leadership is less about being in charge and more about encouraging and empowering your team to take charge and own their tasks to make sure you all succeed as a team. If you’re ready to empower your team to succeed, People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Our online leadership training videos start from $99 for a year’s access, with new video training added each quarter. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.