“Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.” – Margaret Wheatley
Are you one who likes to go it alone? Maybe you say to yourself, “If it is going to be done right, then I must be the one to do it.”
Think about that for a moment.
If you were to get real about this way of thinking, it really is arrogant and perhaps even narcissistic, isn’t it?
I was once this kind of leader, but as I began to lead more people and build more teams, I learned this was the way of failure. I, like you, need people to help me accomplish all I desire to accomplish. I cannot do it alone. And I learned to humbly admit that I am not always the best one to do everything.
As previously noted, relationships are our currency for success. It is like having money in the bank; if we need money and have money, it is a good thing. But if we need money and have none in the bank, we will be in trouble.
As leaders working toward goals, if we focus on building relationships and helping others along the way, we will have a well from which to draw when we need help the most. A self-absorbed, “it’s all about me” leader has only himself when the chips are down. But a leader who has invested his life in others will never be alone in a time of need.
John Maxwell writes about the “Boomerang Principle” in his book, Winning With People. “When we help others, we help ourselves. This is the essence of relationships…to help others. We are served in the building of the relationship.”
Zig Ziglar, one of my mentors, taught me many years ago that if I help enough people get more of what they want, then I will get a whole lot more of what I want.
Leadership begins with helping others get more of what they want. A wise pastor once said, “Don’t use your people to build your work…use your work to build your people.” He should know. He pastored a church of over 40,000, and had a devotedly loyal staff. One day, when accosted by a would-be robber in an alley, one of those staff members stepped in and saved his life. Many learned of the incident and the staff member’s act of valor. What they didn’t know was that for many years, the pastor had served that man and his family in their time of need.
Are you that kind of leader?
Leadership LIFT Exercise
Are you focused on getting something from someone, or are you focused on helping someone?
Do people help you willingly, or does it feel like you are having to drag them along?
Are you more concerned about the relationship or the outcome and how you look?
“People are an appreciating asset only if we are willing to invest in them.” – John Maxwell