Jeremie Kubicek, President and CEO of Giant Impact, challenges us in his thoughtful book, Leadership is Dead – How Influence is Reviving It, to imagine what the effectiveness of our leadership would look like if we were truly “for others” before we were for ourselves or our organizations.
“Think about it this way: people around you are either for you, against you, or just for themselves. While there may be variations on these three motives, this concept generally holds true…
(Now) take out a sheet of paper and make a short list of the people in your life (business, home, family and so forth). Answer this question for each: ‘Is this person for me, against me, or for himself/herself?’
Revealing isn’t it? Now turn the tide. What would they say you were to them? For them, against them, or for yourself?
The reality is that the majority of people are self-centered. Rarely are people against you. It’s more that they are for themselves and totally driven by self-interest. It’s human nature. Most people I know are in survival mode day-to-day, doing whatever they can to take care of their families and their businesses and organizations. I fall into that mode, and it’s likely that you do too.
What would happen, though if you intentionally demonstrated that you were for the people on this list? You would see amazing changes transpire in the lives of those around you if they knew you were invested in their success as well as your own.
Imagine yourself becoming so significant in other people’s’ lives that you are not only memorable but also valuable to them. Imagine people believing that you want the best for them and understanding that you are for them. Imagine that they open up to you, enabling you to wield true influence and have an impact. Imagine experiencing, as a result of these things, the fulfilling relationships you’ve dreamed of at work and at home.”