By Jeremie Kubicek, CEO, GiANT Impact
To be a true influencer in the lives of those you lead, it is vital to understand a simple, but powerful question. It goes like this:
“Are you for me, against me, or for yourself?”
It is a great question, one that is asked by those you and I lead at least once within the relationship. Once the question has been confirmed, then the question rarely comes up again. They know your intent toward them or at least toward yourself.
Here is an exercise you can do to fully understand the concept:
I would guess that, in most cases, you wrote down that they were for themselves. It is rare to have your last eight directors be against you. If so, there are other issues at hand. And while some are adamantly for you, my history has found that most leaders have tended to be more focused on things that affect themselves.
That is not a crime, nor is it a major character flaw. I have had dozens of leaders I have appreciated who have been deeply focused on themselves first and foremost. The problem is that they are not memorable and, therefore, not significant in my life.
Oh, but I do remember those who are for me. Not only do I remember them, I revere them and value them as a leader and a friend. These leaders believed in me, listened to me, and appreciated my gifts. Not only that but they intently invested in my life in significant and valuable ways. Leaders such as Kent Humphreys, who poured himself in to me to show me how to serve employees and vendors. Or Johnny Bingaman, who gave up time and energy to listen to me and counsel my early entrepreneurial years. These men were for me.
Now, back to those in your life. Those you lead or serve are asking you a question. Some already have perceived an answer. Are you for them, against them, or for yourself? Make this next exercise mean something.
Do you think most people in your life have already concluded the answer to the question? If so, how can you open the topic up again?
If our goal is to do unto others as we would want done to us, then I suggest as leaders we reevaluate who we are for and why. If we can show others we are authentically for them, then I believe you will find yourself more productive and more at peace with those you lead.
One side note: If there are people in your organization that you are against, that is a separate conversation—one that should be dealt with quickly.
The leaders who tend to have a profound impact in others’ lives are those whose intent is squarely focused on being for others. These leaders are impact players we not only remember, but revere.
Jeremie Kubicek is the author of “Leadership Is Dead: How Influence Is Reviving It.” He is the CEO of GiANT Impact, a leader development company whose focus is to awaken leaders by raising their capacity to lead. As the CEO of GiANT, which owns Catalyst and produces the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, Kubicek is focused on growing brands that transform the standards of leadership. You can follow him on Twitter at @JeremieKubicek or his blog at www.JeremieKubicek.com. Visit www.LeadershipIsDead... to learn more about the book and access free leadership resources for a limited time.