May 28, 2024

As the Zen Buddhist saying goes, how you do anything is how you do everything.

 

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. One can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. The true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above its own. Great leaders truly care about those they are privileged to lead and understand that the true cost of the leadership privilege comes at the expense of self-interest. It is not the genius at the top giving directions that makes people great. It is great people that make the guy at the top look like a genius.

 

Those who have an opportunity to work in organizations that treat them like human beings to be protected rather than a resource to be exploited come home at the end of the day with an intense feeling of fulfillment and gratitude. This should be the rule for all of us, not the exception. Returning from work feeling inspired, safe, fulfilled, and grateful is a natural human right to which we are all entitled and not a modern luxury that only a few lucky ones are able to find. We are not victims of our situation. We are the architects of it. Stress and anxiety at work have less to do with the work we do and more to do with weak management and leadership.

The rank of office is not what makes someone a leader. Leadership is the choice to serve others with or without any formal rank. All the perks, all the benefits and advantages you may get for the rank or position you hold, they aren’t meant for you. They are meant for the role you fill. And when you leave your role, which eventually you will, they will give the ceramic cup to the person who replaces you. Because you only ever deserved a Styrofoam cup. Leadership is not a license to do less; it is a responsibility to do more.

 

The only thing our leaders ever need to do is remember whom they serve, and it will be our honor and pleasure to serve them back.

When our leaders reveal their gaps in knowledge and missteps, not only are we more willing to help, but we too are more willing to share when we make mistakes or when things go wrong. Integrity is when our words and deeds are consistent with our intentions. Leadership is about integrity, honesty, and accountability. All components of trust. The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people pull together as a team.

 

Let us all be the leaders we wish we had!